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Mia Love (Utah)

Mia Love (Utah)

Mia
Love (Utah’s 4th CD) prides herself on her opposition to
government “handouts,”
but she has voted again and again
for giveaways to Wall Street. During her two terms in the House of
Representatives, Rep. Love has introduced, cosponsored, and voted for a stream
of legislation designed to help banks, payday lenders, private equity firms,
and other financial companies – and their executives – enrich themselves at the
expense of the rest of us.

Wall
Street interests have in turn been major funders of her political career.
Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Experian, American Express,
Blackstone, Bank of New York Mellon, the American Bankers Association –
everybody who is anybody in the world of banking, securities, and high finance
seems to have felt a need to help Mia Love secure and hold onto her seat in
Congress

Campaign Contributors

Since
she first ran for the House six years ago, Mia Love has received more than $1.6 million
from financial and real estate interests.[1] During the current election
cycle, she has racked up nearly half a million dollars
in reported contributions from individuals and PACs associated with banks,
investment firms, insurers and other such entities.[2]

Rep.
Love’s top financial backers
since 2011 include the Blackstone Group ($47,300), Zions Bancorp ($44,050), the
American Bankers Association ($36,000), Keller Investment Properties ($33,600),
PricewaterhouseCoopers ($27,750), Ernst & Young ($26,360) and Elliott
Management ($25,956). During the current cycle, Love has received contributions
from Keller Investment Properties ($26,200), PricewaterhouseCoopers ($20,000),
Blackstone ($16,200), Ernst & Young ($15,000), Zions Bancorp ($13,300),
Morgan Stanley ($11,500), UBS ($11,000), the Council of Insurance Agents &
Brokers ($11,000), the American Bankers Association ($10,250), the Investment
Company Institute ($10,000), Massachusetts Mutual ($10,000), Citigroup
($9,000), KPMG LLP ($8,500), National Association of Mortgage Brokers ($9,000),
the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America ($8,500), Synchrony
Financial ($7,500), American Express ($7,000), the American Financial Services
Association ($7,000), USAA ($7,000), Capital One ($6,500), Deloitte LLP
($6,500), the Independent Community Bankers Association ($6,000), the National
Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors ($6,000), Capital Funding
Group ($5,400), JMF Investment Holdings ($5,400), Bank of New York Mellon
($5,000), Experian ($5,000), Liberty Mutual ($5,000), Bank of America ($4,850),
US Bancorp ($4,721), Ally Financial ($4,500), the Mortgage Bankers Association
($4,500), the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts ($4,500),
Zurich Financial Services ($4,500), Bank of Utah ($4,200), Deason Capital
Services ($4,157), Discover ($4,000), JPMorgan Chase ($4,000), and the National
Association of Mutual Insurance Companies ($4,000).

Bills Introduced and Cosponsored

Rep.
Love has sponsored or cosponsored a long list of bills that would increase the
ability of banks, lenders, and other financial companies to gamble with
taxpayer-guaranteed funds or stick their customers with hidden fees and
“gotcha” clauses. These include proposals to:

  • Sharply
    reduce the funding and authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
    making it easier for mortgage lenders, payday lenders, and credit card
    companies etc. to take unfair advantage of customers (HR 10, cosponsored);

  • Give Wall Street banks and other large
    financial companies a new way to undo rules they dislike, by requiring the
    explicit approval of both houses of Congress before any major regulation takes
    effect. (HR 26, cosponsored);
  • Place unprecedented new constraints
    on the ability of the Federal Reserve to monitor risky bets by 26 of the
    country’s largest banks, ranging from $50 billion to about $500 billion in
    size, even when regulators conclude that action is needed. (HR 3312, co-sponsored);

  • Paralyze the process of issuing
    regulations with an obstacle course of new review procedures including
    cost-benefit analysis requirementsinherently
    biased in favor of regulated companies. (HR 1116, cosponsored);
  • Repeal the “Volcker Rule,” which
    bars the Wall Street megabanks from playing reckless games with insured
    deposits and other taxpayer-subsidized funds (HR 10, cosponsored);
  • Strip
    consumers of the right to band together and take banks and other financial
    companies to court over systematic cheating, leaving them with no recourse
    except to submit an individual complaint to a corporate-friendly private
    arbitration firm. This is a system that effectively operates as a Get out of
    Jail Free Card for the financial industry, since the arbitrators are typically
    chosen by (and dependent on future business from) the company being complained
    against, and the dollar damage to any one victim is rarely enough to justify
    the heavy cost of legal action. (HJ Resolution 111, co-sponsored).
  • Make
    it more difficult for federal regulators to monitor large nonbank entities, by
    adding a series of new procedural hurdles to a designation process that already
    includes ten distinct major steps and many opportunities for appeal and
    typically takes some two years to complete (HR 4061, co-sponsored);

  • Encourage
    bank mergers, reduce the number
    of independent community banks, and permit the acquiring companies to finance
    transactions with excessive debt, adding to the long-term risk of bank failure.
    (HR 4771, introduced);

  • Impose
    a two-year delay on implementing the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, which
    requires retirement investment advisors to act in the best interests of their
    clients. The rule would crack down on conflicts of interest that cost American
    workers and retirees an estimated $17 billion annually. (HR 355; co-sponsored).

Voting record

In
2017 and 2018, Americans for Financial Reform (a coalition of more than 200
consumer and other public-interest groups) tracked 38 House floor votes and 36 Financial Services Committee
votes
 – 74 votes altogether – on
measures benefiting Wall Street banks and other financial companies at the
expense of the country as a whole. Rep. Mia Love voted for all 74.

In November 2017,
she voted for
the Republican tax-cut plan, from which big banks and financial companies – and
their executives – stand to gain hundreds of billions of dollars, with the
scandal-ridden Wells Fargo poised to be the leading corporate beneficiary.
Love was also a proud supporter of S 2155,
the single biggest rollback of banking regulations since the financial crisis.
Parroting the sham arguments of the Wall Street lobbyists who helped put this
massive bill together, Rep. Love tried to portray it as modest regulatory
relief for small “community banks.” In fact, the core provision of S 2155 freed
a group of 25 banks with $50 to $250 billion in assets from the heightened
oversight put in place after the financial crisis. Far from protecting
community banks, this legislation will spur increased bank consolidation
by letting a $50 billion institution grow up to five times bigger without
attracting any extra regulatory scrutiny – a point acknowledged by industry insiders
as soon as the bill passed. Its other unadvertised features
included a significant weakening of safeguards against predatory or racially
discriminatory lending, especially in rural areas of the country. Senator
Elizabeth Warren dubbed it “The Bank Lobbyist Act.”

All these votes occurred during the 115th
Congress, which has done next to nothing about the serious problems facing
ordinary Americans (health care, housing, etc.). If you’re wondering how the
same elected body could somehow manage to act on item after item from Wall
Street’s legislative wish list, the answer lies with Mia Love and the others like
her who have built their congressional lives around the pursuit of campaign
donations from big banks, securities firms, payday lenders, and other giant
financial companies.

When it comes to the issues that matter to Wall Street, Mia
Love has consistently ignored not only the interests but the will of the people
she is sworn to represent. Ten years after the financial crisis, the great
majority of voters—across lines of geography and political party—voice their
support for existing regulations and say they would like to see the rules
governing Wall Street and the financial world made tougher. Yet in all the actions described
here, Rep. Love has not once called for stronger rather than weaker regulation
of banks, lenders, and other financial entities.


[1] OpenSecrets.org showed Love with
$1,651,846 in FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate) contributions on
9/4/18. This and other figures are drawn from data reported to the Federal
Elections Commission and compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
Numbers can be checked and updated by clicking the link to CRP’S website.

[2] On 9/4/18,
OpenSecrets.org showed Love
with $499,015 in FIRE sector contributions and $3,400,600in total
contributions.

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