Tea Party-backed candidates swept into Washington in 2010 on a wave of opposition to bank bailouts. Now that they’re in Washington, however, their campaigns are drowning in campaign cash provided by the very banks that benefited from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The 10 freshmen Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee who have Tea Party backing have taken more than $100,000 from the political action committees affiliated with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs — the nation’s five largest banks — Bloomberg reports:
Yet the anti-bailout fervor that drove the messaging of Republican candidates during the campaign cycle of 2009 and 2010 has dissipated, and those same lawmakers are now collecting money from the firms bailed out by President George W. Bush’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. [...]
The political action committees of those institutions have distributed $169,499 through March 31 to the campaign coffers of the 10 freshman Tea Party-backed lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee, according to an analysis of campaign finance disclosure records.
The Tea Party hasn’t succeeded in ending “too big too fail” because they haven’t tried. Though the five biggest banks are now bigger than they were before the financial crisis, the Tea Party members haven’t proposed a single piece of legislation to limit their size. Instead, they’ve focused on repealing financial reform and blocking efforts to protect consumers from Wall Street’s predatory practices.
Multiple Democrats have proposed legislation to cap the size of large banks, while others have proposed new ways to unwind large banks without taxpayer-funded bailouts should they collapse. The efforts have drawn no support from the Tea Party. “No more bailouts,” Tea Party Express’ website proclaims. The candidates it and other Tea Party organizations backed in 2010, however, apparently no longer feel the same way.