Spending on lobbying rose 12 percent last year to $29.8 million among the eight banks and private-equity firms that spend the most to influence lawmakers. JPMorgan Chase led the way—it employs 30 lobbyists and its lobbying budget rose 12 percent to $6.2 million. It rose 27 percent at Wells Fargo and 16 percent at Morgan Stanley. "I have never seen such a scrum of bank lobbyists as I have in the last year—and I've worked on quite a few bank issues over the years," said one lobbyist for state consumer organizations. "It seems like everybody is out of work except for bank lobbyists." The banks are fighting Obama’s financial-regulation plan—in particular, his aim to create a consumer-protection agency.
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