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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wall Street Reform Scorecard: Senators Ranked - Main Street or Wall Street?
WASHINGTON - May 25 - A national public interest advocacy organization compared a series of key votes of U.S. Senators during consideration of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act this month and found that, while 11 received perfect public interest scores, nearly half voted with Wall Street CEOs more often than with their Main Street consumer constituents.
The Senator Scorecard from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group charted Senators' votes on ten key amendments and on the final bill, approved on May 20. Among the amendments considered were the following:
- The Shelby (R-AL) amendment to severely weaken the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Defeated, Public Interest Vote = No).
- The Chambliss (R-GA) amendment to weaken the bill's shadow markets derivatives reforms. (Defeated, Public Interest Vote = No).
- The Carper (D-DE) amendment to weaken authority of state Attorneys General to protect the public. (Approved, Public Interest Vote = No).
“Looking at how a Senator votes on one final passage vote isn't enough,” said Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director for U.S. PIRG. “The Senate spent weeks taking critical votes on whether to improve the bill for Main Street, or, at the behest of powerful Wall Street lobbyists, to eviscerate reforms. Our scorecard examines important votes for consumers and taxpayers.”
The legislation must now be reconciled with a similar bill approved by the House in December.
For example, both bills include an independent consumer agency and while the House bill would carve out car dealers from its oversight, the Senate bill would subject the agency to “paralysis-by-analysis” requirements. The Senate bill's reforms of the derivatives markets are stronger, but Wall Street lobbyists are lined up to weaken them.
“We will urge the House and Senate conference committee to take the strongest reforms from each bill, so that Main Street consumers who have lost millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in home equity and retirement savings will be protected from future meltdowns caused by greedy Wall Street bankers,” concluded Mierzwinski.
Click here for the Amendment Voting Guide U.S. PIRG issued prior to the votes.