A surprising number of firms that reaped billions in bailout funds from the government have been spending big to lobby the government for more, the New York Times reports. Citigroup, General Motors, and at least seven others have paid lobbyists millions since October. Some recipients actually increased the amount they spend to promote their interests in Washington.
Bankers argue that taking money from the government doesn't rob of them of their right to petition Washington, but angry lawmakers beg to differ. "That taxpayer dollars intended to stabilize the economy could find their way into the bank accounts of lobbying firms” is “completely unacceptable,” says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is pushing legislation to ban the use of bailout funds for lobbying.