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Pelosi Prepared to Reject Donations From Banks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pledging to refuse campaign contributions from banks in the wake of their resistance to a mortgage bill that she considers a top priority.

Pelosi made the announcement to Democratic lawmakers during a Caucus meeting this morning, sources in attendance said.

House Democratic leaders hoped to approve the measure today before lawmakers jetted home for the weekend. But pushback from moderate Democrats, who have been lobbied heavily by the financial services industry over a bankruptcy provision in the bill, forced leaders to punt the vote into next week.

It is not immediately clear which banks would make Pelosi’s blacklist. During the 2008 election cycle, she raised $159,200 from the securities and investment industry and $66,200 from commercial banks, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That included $15,600 from JP Morgan Chase, $11,000 from Citigroup Inc. and $10,000 from Morgan Stanley.

Pelosi’s decision makes her the latest top Democrat to reject campaign contributions from Wall Street powerhouses, which have quickly become political whipping boys in the wake of the financial meltdown. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has decided to turn down contributions from political action committees and top executives of banks that have received bailout money, Roll Call reported earlier this week.

Similarly, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is no longer accepting PAC contributions from bailed-out firms.

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