Wall Street "Owns" Congress as Both Parties Vote to Reinstate Taxpayer-Funded Bank Bailouts

Posted Dec. 17, 2014

MP3 Interview with Isaiah Poole, editor of the Campaign for America's Future blog, OurFuture.org, conducted by Scott Harris


As the Christmas holiday congressional recess drew near, members of both major political parties worked to pass a federal 2015 budget, nicknamed the “Cromnibus,” for Continuing Resolution and OMNIBUS budget bill, in order to avoid a government shutdown. But unknown to many legislators and the public, an obscure but important provision was inserted into the bill just before the first round of voting began. The measure supported by President Obama, Republicans and Wall Street-friendly Democrats, weakens a key part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that was passed by Congress in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown.

Now, with congressional passage of the $1.1 trillion 2015 budget, the Dodd-Frank rule that had prohibited banks from making specific risky derivatives trades in units insured by the government has been repealed. The specific language of the provision, written almost word-for-word by Citibank lobbyists, restores taxpayer-funded bailouts for the nation’s giant banks that engage in reckless behavior. In a related and ironic twist, the budget also includes a rider that increases by 10 times the amount wealthy individuals can donate to political parties to $1.5 million per two-year election cycle. The previous limit was $194,400.

After a last ditch, but unsuccessful effort to remove the Wall Street favored provision, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, unleashed a verbal attack on Citibank from the Senate floor saying that she agreed with Citibank that the Dodd-Frank reform legislation wasn’t perfect, declaring, “It should have broken you into pieces.” Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Isaiah Poole, editor of the Campaign for America's Future blog, who examines the outsized influence of Wall Street on U.S. politics, which led to the unpopular restoration of big bank bailouts.

Find more information on Campaign for America's Future blog, by visiting OurFuture.org.

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