Loeffler’s Again Facing Conflict of Interest “Minefield” After New Assignment to Subcommittee With Direct Oversight of Husband’s Firm’s Regulator

January 17, 2020

After already facing “scrutiny” for firm’s lobbying ties and ethical red flags, Loeffler’s conflicts of interest are front and center as her committee assignments double-down on oversight of regulating her husband’s business interests

ATLANTA — Once again, “political mega-donor” Kelly Loeffler is back under scrutiny for her committee assignments that raise new ethical red flags for a senator already facing a “‘minefield’ of potential ethical issues.” After first being appointed to the Senate committee overseeing regulation of her husband’s firm, it’s now been revealed that Loeffler has also been assigned to the subcommittee directly charged with overseeing a key regulator for those same business interests.

Loeffler’s husband’s firm already has a shocking history of Washington influence peddling, spending an eye-popping $17 million as part of their lobbying efforts since 2002 — one of the top lobbying spending securities and investment firms overall since 2011. The firm is also known for making key lobbyist hires from DC as part of the revolving door between Washington congressional committees and the business interests they oversee.

Now, after facing a number of potential ethical conflicts, Loeffler is again in hot water as she still refuses to specifically say how she’ll avoid the ethical “minefield” that awaits her in the Senate. 

“At this point, it’s getting harder and harder to find a committee assignment for Kelly Loeffler that isn’t ethically compromising,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Kelly Loeffler’s firm’s role in the revolving door between Washington and giant corporate special interests, along with her refusal to explain specifically how she will avoid these conflicts of interest, is everything Georgia voters hate about Washington politicians.”

Read more about Loeffler’s ethically dubious committee assignments:

Bloomberg Law: New Senator With Swaps Exchange Ties Named to Oversight Panel

  • Georgia’s new senator, Kelly Loeffler (R), has been appointed to a subcommittee with direct jurisdiction over the financial services industry in which her husband Jeffrey Sprecher is a major player.
  • Sprecher is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE), one of the largest U.S. commodities and derivatives exchanges. ICE also owns the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The Senate Agriculture Committee tweeted Thursday that Loeffler will serve on its Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade Subcommittee.
  • The subcommittee has direct jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates swaps and derivatives markets, including ICE.

WSJ: Senator Whose Spouse Runs Major Exchange to Help Oversee Regulator

  • A new U.S. senator whose spouse both runs and owns a minority stake in a major exchange operator will help oversee one of the company’s main federal regulators, setting up a potential conflict of interest.
  • Republican leadership assigned interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.), whose husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, is chairman and chief executive of Intercontinental Exchange Inc., to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee.
  • The committee oversees the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates markets for derivatives that trade on ICE exchanges. The committee also oversees agriculture, logging, forestry and nutrition programs.
  • Ms. Loeffler’s appointment comes at a time when the agriculture committee is working on legislation to reauthorize the CFTC. The committee’s oversight functions also include approving nominations for CFTC commissioners.
  • According to its annual report, a number of ICE’s exchanges are “subject to extensive regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.” In addition to day-to-day oversight and enforcement, the CFTC’s rule-making agenda can have a major impact on the company’s operations.


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