On average, senators who will participate in the conference committee have received 2.85 times as much money from the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate industry in the 2010 campaign cycle than a typical senator. The average for conference committee members is $739,374 while the average for the full Senate is $259,261, according to data from OpenSecrets.org.
As substantial as these top-line numbers are, they don’t tell the full story about how finance money might play into the conference committee. In the table below, you’ll see that there are almost two classes of negotiators — those receiving donations near and above $1 million, and those receiving levels well below the Senate average. We should be watching to see if votes on specific issues in the conference committee follow this division (that is, if the conference committee is televised).