VP Mike Pence Swings into Senate to Deliver 'Wet-Kiss-to-Wall-Street' Tie Breaker

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VP Mike Pence Swings into Senate to Deliver 'Wet-Kiss-to-Wall-Street' Tie Breaker

"No wonder Americans think the system is rigged against them," says Senator Elizabeth Warren. "It is."

Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, during the Senate's vote on Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos. On Tuesday night, Pence returned to the chamber again to a break another tie. This time it was to make sure it's easier in the future for financial service companies and other Wall Street darlies to make it easier to rip-off consumers. (Photo: Senate Television)

Just in time to do the bidding of the "rich and powerful," as one Democratic Senator put it, Vice President Mike Pence was summoned to the Senate chamber on Tuesday night where he cast the tie-breaking vote in order to scrap a federal rule designed to protect consumers from so-called "rip-off clauses" used by Wall Street and other corporations.

"The vice president only shows up in this body when the rich and powerful need him." —Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)While in the end it was two Republicans, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana, who joined with Democrats and the Senate's two Independents in voting against the resolution, Pence broke the 50-50 tie in order to scrap the rule.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an outspoken propopent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule which sought to restrict use of forced arbitration clauses, condemned both Pence and her Republican colleagues for trying to undermine consumer protections by delivering a "gift to the bank lobbyists." 

"Let's be clear: No organization that represents actual human beings wants the [Senate] to reverse the [CFPB's] arbitration rule," Warren declared in a pair of tweets. "Servicemembers, vets, seniors, and small businesses all support the rule. Only people who don't? Bank lobbyists. Oh, and Equifax."

In a nearly eight-minute speech objecting to the passage of resolution, Warren explained that at a time when "millions of Americans of all parties think Washington is rigged against them," the vote on Tuesday night should be considered "Exhibit A." Watch:

Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, blasted the Senate Republicans.

"Voting to allow banks and other financial institutions to rip off customers with impunity is a savage attack on American consumers," Weissman said in a statment. By overturning the rule, he continued, Republicans "are ensuring that predatory banks, payday lenders, credit card companies and other bad actors in the financial industry can steal from Main Street Americans."

It was during his floor speech against the passage of the resolution when Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) learned that Pence had arrived to provide the deciding vote.

"The vice president only shows up in this body," announced Brown, "when the rich and powerful need him."

Both Warren and Weissman suggested killing the rule would be a major betrayal of Trump's repeated promises to "drain the swam" and protect regular Americans from the ravages and greed of Wall Street predators.

"If President Donald Trump wants to remain true to his promise to defeat cronyism, he should veto this resolution," said Weissman. "But we're not holding our breath, given that he has staffed his Cabinet and White House with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street refugees."

The official roll call is here (On the Joint Resolution - H. J. Res. 111):

Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Baldwin (D-WI), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Nay
Blumenthal (D-CT), Nay
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
Booker (D-NJ), Nay
Boozman (R-AR), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Capito (R-WV), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Nay
Carper (D-DE), Nay
Casey (D-PA), Nay
Cassidy (R-LA), Yea
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Nay
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Cortez Masto (D-NV), Nay
Cotton (R-AR), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Yea
Cruz (R-TX), Yea
Daines (R-MT), Yea
Donnelly (D-IN), Nay
Duckworth (D-IL), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Ernst (R-IA), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Nay
Fischer (R-NE), Yea
Flake (R-AZ), Yea
 

Franken (D-MN), Nay
Gardner (R-CO), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Harris (D-CA), Nay
Hassan (D-NH), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Heinrich (D-NM), Nay
Heitkamp (D-ND), Nay
Heller (R-NV), Yea
Hirono (D-HI), Nay
Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Yea
Kaine (D-VA), Nay
Kennedy (R-LA), Nay
King (I-ME), Nay
Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
Lankford (R-OK), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Nay
Lee (R-UT), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Nay
Markey (D-MA), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Nay
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
Merkley (D-OR), Nay
Moran (R-KS), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murphy (D-CT), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Nay
Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Paul (R-KY), Yea
Perdue (R-GA), Yea
Peters (D-MI), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Nay
Risch (R-ID), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Rounds (R-SD), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Sasse (R-NE), Yea
Schatz (D-HI), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Scott (R-SC), Yea
Shaheen (D-NH), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Strange (R-AL), Yea
Sullivan (R-AK), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tillis (R-NC), Yea
Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Nay
Van Hollen (D-MD), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Nay
Warren (D-MA), Nay
Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Young (R-IN), Yea

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