FIRST ON FOX: Progressive Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., joined his fellow Democrats this week in blaming a 2018 banking bill for the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) despite the fact that the company where his lobbyist wife works strongly advocated for the bill’s passage.
Sydney Barron Gallego, who has worked for the National Association of Realtors since 2019, didn’t directly lobby for the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, however the then-president of the organization, Elizabeth Mendenhall, sent a letter to Senate lawmakers in March 2018 praising the legislation.
“The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act contains some favorable provisions for the housing industry, including expanding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s use of alternative credit scoring models; holding Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, loans more accountable; and improving access to manufactured housing, as well as easing credit through reduced regulatory burdens on smaller community banks and credit unions,” Mendenhall wrote in the letter.
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“Realtors® believe that financial regulations needs to be balanced with appropriate consumer protections, and we believe this bill achieves that goal; we urge Congress and the administration to enact S. 2155 into law,” she added.
In contrast to her employer’s position on the legislation, Gallego’s wife “liked” a Tuesday tweet by her husband blasting Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., over her support for the bill when she was a member of the House of Representatives.
Gallego, who is challenging Sinema in the Arizona’s 2024 U.S. Senate race, continued his criticism on Tuesday afternoon while speaking to reporters outside SVB’s offices in Tempe. “When push came to shove, and the vote came to the floor, I voted to protect Arizona and she voted to protect Wall Street,” he said.
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The bill, which passed with bipartisan support before being signed into law by former President Donald Trump, has come into focus once again following revelations that many Democrats and Republicans who voted for it received thousands of dollars in contributions from SVB and its lobbyists prior to the vote.
Sinema’s congressional campaigns received a total of $9,350 between 2012 and 2018 from Matthew Tanielian, Joshua Ackil and Brian Peters, who were lobbyists for SVB at the time; however, she has called for the federal government to hold those responsible for the collapse accountable, as well as for the continued stability of the banking system.
This isn’t the first instance in which Gallego has gone after Sinema since launching his Senate campaign earlier this year. In January, he accused her of being funded by “deep-pocketed lobbyists” despite his own ties to the industry through campaign-related activities and his wife’s employment.
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Sinema filed paperwork to run as an independent following her departure from the Democratic Party in December, but has not officially said whether she will run for re-election.
Fox News Digital reached out to representatives of Gallego and Sinema for comment but did not immediately receive responses.
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