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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] 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, showed Love with $499,015 in FIRE sector contributions and $3,400,600in total contributions.

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