Former Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey took a position advising Coinbase after playing a key role in killing the ENABLERS Act, a popular financial anti-corruption measure with broad support. Coinbase (a large cryptocurrency exchange) lobbied against the bill. This comes on the heels of Toomey’s decision to accept a position in a separate industry that also lobbied aggressively against the bill.
During his last two years in office, former Senator Toomey was the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. In that role, he represented a key vote to the future of the bipartisan ENABLERS Act, a critical improvement to our nation’s financial anti-corruption laws. Rather than supporting a popular, bipartisan reform, he killed the bill. Two months later he took a position in the private equity and investment sector, which strongly opposed the bill, and two months after that he accepted this position with Coinbase, which lobbied against the legislation.
The ENABLERS Act would have closed a key loophole in the law by requiring certain financial “enablers”— including, among others, payment processors, law firms, and, crucially, private equity and investment advisor firms like Apollo Global Management, where Toomey is now a board member, and certain cryptocurrency firms like Coinbase, Toomey’s latest employer—to conduct basic anti-corruption checks before they facilitate the flow of money into and around the United States.
It was supported by everyone from the AFL-CIO, Greenpeace USA, Human Rights Watch, and CREW, to the Mississippi Sheriff’s Association and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but it was disliked by the industries it would have regulated. These industries, including the cryptocurrency and private equity communities, lobbied aggressively against the bill. After years of development and months of haggling, the ENABLERS Act came before Toomey’s committee as part of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). That’s when Toomey stepped in to kill it.
Less than two months after leaving office, Toomey accepted a position with one of the nation’s biggest private equity and investment advisory firms. Three months after that, Toomey followed that up with a job advising Coinbase. Lobbying filings show that Coinbase lobbied against the ENABLERS Act. And Apollo Global Management lobbied on the NDAA, which included ENABLERS.
It would be difficult to find a more obvious example of the revolving door than Pat Toomey’s quick transition from regulating the financial sector to working for it. The fact that at the end of his term, he did both of his new employers a major favor by killing this financial reform illustrates why the door needs to be closed.