Lobbyists for banks and finance companies big and small were crawling all over Capitol Hill last week as the Senate worked on a bill to overhaul the financial regulatory system. But senators, it seemed, only saw the ones that represented local business back home.

“I’m trying to think of the last time I had a meeting with any of the big banks. It’s been months, I think,” said Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, who is a member of the Senate Banking Committee. His office later offered examples of groups Crapo and his staff have met with, such as the Idaho Bankers Association and the Idaho Credit Union League. “I met with the auto dealers,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), whose vote is being heavily courted by Democrats. “And obviously the community bankers, some Maine community bankers.”

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