Rep. Bill Foster is facing criticism from his 2020 primary opponent for attending a celebration for an insurance corporation that played a key role in the 2008 financial crisis.
Foster was among a number of lawmakers who attended the celebration for American International Group in Washington, according to a Politico article. During the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government committed more than $180 billion to help save the company from collapse.
Foster’s opponent, Rachel Ventura, called the event “disturbing” in a news release. She said that Foster’s attendance was evidence of his support for large financial institutions.
“The American people are sick and tired of a Congress that is bought and paid for,” Ventura said in the release. “Bill Foster is no exception.”
Ventura has positioned herself as a progressive alternative to Foster, whom she has decried as a centrist who accepts campaign contributions from the financial industry. Foster sits on the House Committee on Financial Services.
Foster responded in a statement that he was proud of his record in Congress and work on the committee. He said he was “deeply involved” in the response to the financial crisis and writing legislation that stabilized the financial system and protected consumers from abuse.
“I regularly talk to those responsible for oversight and operation of our financial system to make sure that risk is not building up in ways that could hurt the financial futures of American families,” Foster said.