Dems who voted to roll back bank regulations in 2018 took campaign cash from Silicon Valley Bank, lobbyists

FIRST ON FOX: Nearly two dozen Democrats in the House and Senate who voted for the 2018 banking legislation that prominent Democrats, including President Biden, are blaming for last week’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) received thousands of dollars in contributions from the now-shuttered bank and its lobbyists prior to the vote.

SVB, the nation’s 16th-largest bank, collaped last Friday after depositors hurried to withdraw money amid anxiety over the bank’s health. It was the second-biggest bank failure in United States history after the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008. Two days later, Signature Bank in New York was closed by federal regulators over concerns of a bank run, sparking fears of a wider financial crisis.

The Dodd-Frank Act, which passed in 2010 under the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Great Recession, set tougher regulatory safeguards on banks with assets worth over $50 billion. SVB lobbied heavily for the passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which passed in 2018 under the Trump administration and raised the asset threshold to $250 billion.

Prominent Democrats, including President Biden, have blamed the bill for contributing to the current banking crisis.


“During the Obama-Biden administration, we put in place tough requirements on banks, like Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, including the Dodd-Frank law to make sure that the crisis we saw in 2008 would not happen again,” the president said Monday. “Unfortunately, the last administration rolled back some of these requirements. I’m going to ask Congress and the banking regulators to strengthen the rules for banks to make it less likely this kind of bank failure would happen again and to protect American jobs and small businesses.”

The 2018 bill was able to pass both chambers of Congress with 16 Senate Democrats and 33 House Democrats voting in favor. Of those 49 Democrats, at least 23 received campaign contributions from SVB, its CEO and its lobbyists.

The campaign for Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., for instance, received a total of $19,200 from Franklin Square Group consultants and longtime SVB lobbyists Matthew Tanielian, Joshua Ackil and Brian Peters between 2009 and 2018, according to Federal Election Commission records. His campaign also received $6,500 from Silicon Valley Bank PAC and SVB Financial Group PAC between 2012 and 2017.

The campaign for Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., received a total of $21,200 from Tanielian and Ackil between 2010 and 2017. He received $19,100 from Silicon Valley Bank PAC and its parent SVB Financial Group PAC between 2011 and 2017.

The campaign for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., received a total of $11,800 from Tanielian and Ackil between 2012 and 2017. He received $5,000 from Silicon Valley Bank PAC and SVB Financial Group PAC from 2012 to 2017.


The campaign for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., received a total of $9,350 between 2012 and 2018 from Tanielian, Ackil and Peters, who left Franklin Square Group in 2022, according to his LinkedIn.

The campaign for Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., received a total of $7,500 from Tanielian between 2011 and 2017 and $2,500 from Ackil in 2011.

The campaign for Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., received a $1,000 contribution from SVB President and CEO Greg Becker in February 2016.

The campaign committee for Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., received a $1,000 contribution from Silicon Valley Bank PAC in 2017 and a total of $4,000 in contributions from Ackil between 2015 and 2018.

The campaign for Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., received $3,000 from SVB Financial Group PAC between 2009 and 2012, a total of $2,500 from Ackil from 2010 to 2013, and $1,500 from Tanielian from 2010 to 2012.

The campaign for Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., received $1,000 from Silicon Valley Bank PAC in May 2017 and a total of $6,400 from Tanielian and Ackil between 2015 and 2017.

The campaign for Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., received a total of $3,000 from Peters between 2009 and 2016, and he received $1,000 from Ackil and $500 from Tanielian in 2011.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., received a total of $4,000 from Tanielian and Ackil between 2012 and 2015.

Other Democrat senators who voted for the 2018 legislation and received contributions from Tanielian, Ackil or Peters, albeit nominal amounts, include Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

Other House Democrats include Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn. Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., former Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and former Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc., also received contributions from Silicon Valley Bank PAC and the SVB lobbyists before the 2018 vote.

On the other side of the aisle, at least 16 Republicans who voted for the 2018 bill received thousands in contributions from Silicon Valley Bank PAC prior to the vote, but not from the individual lobbyists, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. Portman, R-Ohio., among others.

Franklin Square Group and the campaigns named did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Post-2018, SVB’s California executives and PAC have been busy propping up a handful of politicians, which has primarily benefited Democratic lawmakers prior to the bank’s collapse last week that has sent ripples throughout the banking industry. The board of directors is also reportedly packed with staunch Democrats.

Becker, the bank’s president and CEO, cut two maximum checks totaling $5,800 to the campaigns of Sen. Warner and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer during the 2022 midterm election cycle. Schumer has since pledged to return all SVB-related contributions.

Becker also gave $2,500 to the New Democrat Coalition Action Fund in May last year. The New Democrat Coalition Action Fund sent $1 million in contributions to numerous Democrat politicians during the 2022 elections.

Becker’s most recent donations came on the heels of $5,600 he donated between President Biden’s 2020 campaign and victory fund.


The bank’s political action committee has received around $40,000 from its employees over the past two election cycles. In turn, it contributed thousands to Warner, New York Democrat Rep. Gregory Meeks and North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry during the 2022 elections.

It also passed thousands of dollars to Sen. Peters and California Democrat Reps. Maxine Waters and Zoe Lofgren’s campaigns during the 2020 elections, among a few others. Waters has also announced plans to return all SVB-related donations.

Fox Business’ Joe Schoffstall and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.