Cover Story

Corporate Allies on the Hill


OLYMPIA SNOWE (R-Maine)Snowe and fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins have leverage as Republicans who might vote for Obama's initiatives. Business is hoping Snowe will use it to moderate the White House health-care plan. Snowe has suggested a federal government plan be available only in states where "competitive plans don't exist.

MARY LANDRIEU (D-Louisiana)"Landrieu hails from a conservative state that is a major oil and natural gas producer. She has been critical of the House cap-and-trade bill, voicing concern over rising electricity rates and potential job losses. Many energy companies hope she will use her influence to weaken the bill's targets and timetables for emissions reductions.

BLANCHE LINCOLN (D-Arkansas)The centrist was the first Democrat to oppose "card-check" legislation, which would have made it easier to form unions. With corporations such as Wal-Mart headquartered in her state and with a re-election fight coming in 2010, Lincoln must work hard to keep business happy.

MARK WARNER (D-Virginia)The freshman senator and former governor spent 20 years in high tech before moving into politics. Now he's the Democratic Caucus' point person on business—and a critic of Obama's proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Companies are counting on him to block financial regulations they view as too draconian.

PAUL KANJORSKI (D-Pennsylvania)As chair of the Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee, Kanjorski is a potential ally for companies trying to moderate financial regulations. Earlier this year he and other lawmakers pressured accounting rulemakers into giving banks more leeway in valuing troubled assets. In July he urged patience on regulatory reform.

RICK BOUCHER (D-Virginia)A staunch backer of coal interests and a trusted lieutenant of Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the Energy & Commerce Committee, Boucher supports limits on carbon emissions. He scored a victory for business earlier this year when he won free emissions permits for utilities in the Waxman-Markey climate bill.

MIKE ROSS (D-Arkansas)Ross is a leader on health care in the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats. He has vowed to block health-care reform unless the price tag comes way down. Waxman has taken the Blue Dogs' threat seriously: In a tentative deal reached July 29, he made concessions that reduced the bill's cost.

GREGORY MEEKS (D-New York)The chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade is a "true believer" in free trade, says one lobbyist. Knocking down trade barriers and protecting intellectual property rights are top business issues. But for now the Administration is focusing on enforcement of existing trade agreements.

Data: BusinessWeek
Craig is a reporter for BusinessWeek in Washington, D.C.

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