Thursday, May 17, 2007

Secret Email: Who's Who in Student Loan Lobbying

Cross-posted from HuffPo:

Even big corporate lobbyists sometimes forget to use BCC.
The following email answers the question: "If you're a DC-based bank lobbyist trying to stop reform to student lender subsidies, who's on your email list?" Well, if you're Terry Muilenburg, former Senate staffer and lobbyist for Sallie Mae subsidiary USA Group, your list includes a veritable who's who of a) lenders, b) lobbyists and c) former Hill staffers, who are often both a) and b).

Take a look behind the curtain at the men and women working to keep billions of dollars in excessive subsidies flowing to their lender bosses at the expense of the American taxpayer and student.

Here's what's at stake.
The email refers to the 2008 Congressional budget conference report, released on May 16th 2007, which includes so-called "reconciliation instructions." Reconciliation instructions are legislative language that, in this case, will make it easier to cut subsidies to private banks and direct it to student aid with filibuster protection.
Real reform is on the horizon, yet these lenders have likely opposed the inclusion of such language in an effort to stymie legislative action. Ironically, in her zeal Ms. Muilenburg has misread the budget overview - nothing in the budget precludes Congress from using the reconciliation process to reform the loan programs.

The send-to list has been annotated with some links and quick IDs.
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Subject: Fw: Budget Reconciliation

------Original Message------
From: TERRY MUILENBURG ‡ Federal relations, USA Group, former Hill staffer
To: Brett Lief ‡ President, National Coalition of Higher Education Loan Providers (NCHELP)
To: Kevin Bruns ‡ ED, American Student Loan Providers (ASLP), former staffer Ed and Workforce Committee
To: ‡ President, EdSouth a student loan servicing company
To: Alexa Marerro ‡ VP of Communications, Education Finance Council, former staffer for John Boehner
To: Kathleen Smith ‡ President, Education Finance Council, former staffer for John Boehner
To: Peter Warren ‡ VP of Gov't Relations, Education Finance Council, former staffer for Reps Nussle and Hoekstra
To: Joanne Razzano ‡ Communications staff, New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYS HESC)
To: Joan Simmons ‡ former federal relations staffer, NCHELP
To: John Dean-Law Office ‡ Lobbyist, Consumer Bankers Association (CBA)
To: Brett Lief ‡ President, National Coalition of Higher Education Loan Providers (NCHELP)
To: Karen Lanning ‡ VP of Communications, NCHELP
To: Shelly Repp ‡ Counsel, NCHELP
To: Ben Kiser ‡ spokesperson, NELNET
To: Cheryl Watson ‡ Communications, NELNET
To: Don Bouc ‡ President Emeritus, NELNET
To: SARA DAVIS ‡ Dir. of Federal Relations, Nelnet, former Sallie Mae lobbyist, former hill staffer
To: CONWEY CASILLAS ‡ Dir. of Communications, Sallie Mae, former EFC staffer
To: DEWAYNE DAVIS ‡ Dir. of Federal relations, Sallie Mae, former senior leg. asst. to Rep. Mollohan
To: SARAH DUCICH ‡ Dir. of Gov't relations, Sallie Mae
To: SCOTT BUCHANAN ‡ Lobbyist, Sallie Mae
To: TIM MORRISON ‡ VP of Gov't relations, Sallie Mae
To: TOM JOYCE ‡ Spokesman, Sallie Mae
To: BOB MURRAY ‡ Spokesman, USA Group
To: Lisa Boepple ‡ Dir. of Congressional Relations, USA Group, former Chief of Staff to Rep. Morella
To: Della Cronin ‡ VP of Legislative Affairs, Washington Partners, employee of CBA
To: Gwyn Walcoff ‡ Senior VP of Public Relations, Washington Partners, employee of CBA
To: Harrison Wadsworth ‡ Special Counsel, Consumer Bankers Association, Consultant to COHEAO
To: John Dean-HEWI ‡ Lobbyist, Consumer Bankers Association (CBA)
Sent: May 16, 2007 1:18 PM
Subject: Budget Reconciliation

The attached Democratic summary of the budget agreement says not one word about reconciliation for student loans. There is a statement that "The plan also allows budget reconciliation to be used for deficit reduction only." We will need to make that statement come back to haunt them.


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