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Progressives Sound Alarm Ahead of Tuesday House Vote on 'Bank Lobbyist Act'

The bill would 'allow banks to engage in the kind of risky behavior that caused the 2008 financial crash,' says Public Citizen

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says the legislation the House is voting on Tuesday would "roll back some of the protections against Wall Street greed that we put in place after the financial crash." (Photo: Jens Schott Knudsen/flickr/cc)

Progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups are sounding alarm on Monday ahead of the U.S. House's vote on a financial deregulatory bill dubbed the "Bank Lobbyist Act."

Declaring her opposition, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) tweeted, "We need to #ProtectConsumers, not big banks."

The legislation is S. 2155, officially titled the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.” It already passed the Senate in March with the help of 16 Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), and praise from big banks. The House is expected to vote on it Tuesday.

Summing up the dangers of the legislation, Public Citizen tweeted:

The advocacy group also joined dozens of organizations including the National Consumer Law Center and the NAACP on Friday in sending a letter (pdf) to representatives urging them to "not roll back consumer protections under the Dodd-Frank Act that have helped and continue to help millions of people across the country." That letter came less than a month after scores of other groups called on representatives to oppose the bill, noting that it also would enable racially discriminatory lending practices by weakening reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Recognizing such threats, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have been taking to social media to announce their opposition to the bill they say sets the stage for another financial crisis.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), for example, tweeted that the bill would "roll back some of the protections against Wall Street greed that we put in place after the financial crash. I will do everything I can to see this #BankLobbyistAct defeated."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) also assured constituents of her opposition, stating: "Our last financial crisis was triggered by Wall Street fraud, and Congress must not put taxpayers at risk of bailing out megabanks yet again, nor allow banks to hide evidence of racial discrimination."

With the House voting on an unchanged version of the Senate bill, passage in the lower chamber means there will be no extra step before it heads to President Donald Trump, who's indicated (pdf) his support. With the hourglass then running out before the bill could become law, Indivisible's Chad Bold urged constituents to take to the phones to pressure representatives to vote no.

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