In Frank Keating’s first year as president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, the trade group has stepped up its lobby spending and brought in new lobbyists.
Perhaps just as important to its presence in Washington, Keating has been a high-profile, sometimes combative, spokesman for the industry.
Keating is a former governor of Oklahoma who was general counsel to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, associate attorney general with Justice, and assistant secretary of Treasury.
He headed the American Council of Life Insurers for eight years, leaving that job in December 2010. He joined the ABA in January.
At a time when bankers face stricter regulation, heightened reporting requirements and growing public resentment, he has come out swinging.
Keating recently wrote an op-ed criticizing Sen. Richard Durbin for conducting both a “crusade” and a “vendetta” against banks.
The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which cut the amount that retailers pay to process debit card transactions, has helped big-box stores but hurt consumers and banks, he wrote. The result, he said, is that consumers pay more for basic banking services.
Keating is a registered lobbyist, and he has worked on a broad range of issues, including Dodd-Frank, consumer protection, mortgage lending, data collection and security, and reporting requirements.
However, his reach goes well beyond direct lobbying.
He has criticized President Obama in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and government red tape on Fox News.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he accused Obama of having “demonized” bankers to score “political points.”
He has been less hard-hitting when it comes to discussing the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“OWS will slowly leave the stage,” he told the Tribune. “But always we should listen to what is said.”
Throughout, Keating has continued to maintain a high political profile.
He raised funds for John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, and made frequent media appearances for the candidate.
He already has come out for the financial guy in the 2012 race, announcing his support for Mitt Romney in October.
Politico went to him last week for comment on the rising popularity of Newt Gingrich.
Keating described the Gingrich surge as a “cold front moving through” for Romney supporters.
“What Romney needs to do is not change his game plan, but to change his enthusiasm level and get more focused,” he told Politico.
Under Keating’s leadership, the ABA has spent $6.35 million on lobbying in the first three quarters of this year, an increase of $690,000 over last year.
It has also brought in new lobbyists, including Federal Resources Group and Roy Ramthum of HSA Consulting Services.
Here’s the legislation ABA lobbyists focused on in the third quarter of 2011:
|Bill Number||Bill Name|
|112 H.R.1||112 H.R.1: Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011|
|112 H.R.1062||112 H.R.1062: Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act|
|112 H.R.1070||112 H.R.1070: Small Company Capital Formation Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1081||112 H.R.1081: Consumers Payment System Protection Act|
|112 H.R.1121||112 H.R.1121: Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1151||112 H.R.1151: Emergency Mortgage Relief and Neighborhood Stabilization Programs Cost Recoupment Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1174||112 H.R.1174: Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act|
|112 H.R.1182||112 H.R.1182: GSE Bailout Elimination and Taxpayer Protection Act|
|112 H.R.1206||112 H.R.1206: Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1221||112 H.R.1221: Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1222||112 H.R.1222: GSE Subsidy Elimination Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1224||112 H.R.1224: GSE Portfolio Risk Reduction Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1225||112 H.R.1225: GSE Debt Issuance Approval Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1233||112 H.R.1233: To amend the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to suspend a limitation on the period for which certain borrowers are eligible for guaranteed assistance.|
|112 H.R.1249||112 H.R.1249: Leahy-Smith America Invents Act|
|112 H.R.1309||112 H.R.1309: Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1315||112 H.R.1315: Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1418||112 H.R.1418: Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1422||112 H.R.1422: To amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to extend the suspension of the limitation on the period for which certain borrowers are eligible for guaranteed assistance.|
|112 H.R.1439||112 H.R.1439: Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1539||112 H.R.1539: Asset-Backed Market Stabilization Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1573||112 H.R.1573: To facilitate implementation of title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, promote regulatory coordination, and avoid market disruption.|
|112 H.R.1607||112 H.R.1607: Creating Real Opportunities for Prosperity (CROP) Act|
|112 H.R.1667||112 H.R.1667: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Transfer Clarification Act|
|112 H.R.1723||112 H.R.1723: Common Sense Economic Recovery Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.1954||112 H.R.1954: To implement the President’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt.|
|112 H.R.1965||112 H.R.1965: To amend the securities laws to establish certain thresholds for shareholder registration, and for other purposes.|
|112 H.R.2056||112 H.R.2056: To instruct the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to study the impact of insured depository institution failures, and for other purposes.|
|112 H.R.2072||112 H.R.2072: Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2167||112 H.R.2167: Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act|
|112 H.R.243||112 H.R.243: Patent Lawsuit Reform Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2436||112 H.R.2436: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Taxpayer Payback Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2439||112 H.R.2439: Removing GSEs Charters During Receivership Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2440||112 H.R.2440: Market Transparency and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2441||112 H.R.2441: Housing Trust Fund Elimination Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2462||112 H.R.2462: Cap the GSE Bailout Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.2568||112 H.R.2568: To prevent the Secretary of the Treasury from expanding United States bank reporting requirements with respect to interest on deposits paid to nonresident aliens.|
|112 H.R.2577||112 H.R.2577: SAFE Data Act|
|112 H.R.3035||112 H.R.3035: Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.4||112 H.R.4: Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.463||112 H.R.463: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Transparency Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.705||112 H.R.705: Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.830||112 H.R.830: FHA Refinance Program Termination Act|
|112 H.R.836||112 H.R.836: Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act|
|112 H.R.839||112 H.R.839: HAMP Termination Act of 2011|
|112 H.R.861||112 H.R.861: NSP Termination Act|
|112 H.R.87||112 H.R.87: To repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.|
|112 H.R.940||112 H.R.940: United States Covered Bond Act of 2011|
|112 S.1151||112 S.1151: Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2011|
|112 S.1207||112 S.1207: Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2011|
|112 S.1408||112 S.1408: Data Breach Notification Act of 2011|
|112 S.1434||112 S.1434: Data Security Act of 2011|
|112 S.1506||112 S.1506: A bill to prevent the Secretary of the Treasury from expanding United States bank reporting requirements with respect to interest on deposits paid to nonresident aliens.|
|112 S.1535||112 S.1535: Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act of 2011|
|112 S.1615||112 S.1615: Financial Regulatory Responsibility Act of 2011|
|112 S.222||112 S.222: Limiting Investor and Homeowner Loss in Foreclosure Act of 2010|
|112 S.223||112 S.223: FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act|
|112 S.23||112 S.23: America Invents Act|
|112 S.368||112 S.368: A bill to amend the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to suspend a limitation on the period for which certain borrowers are eligible for guaranteed assistance.|
|112 S.493||112 S.493: SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011|
|112 S.509||112 S.509: Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011|
|112 S.556||112 S.556: A bill to amend the securities laws to establish certain thresholds for shareholder registration, and for other purposes.|
|112 S.575||112 S.575: Debit Interchange Fee Study Act of 2011|
|112 S.712||112 S.712: Financial Takeover Repeal Act of 2011|
|112 S.72||112 S.72: Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011|
|112 S.737||112 S.737: Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act of 2011|
|112 S.782||112 S.782: Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011|