The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director
Office: 202-546-9707, ext. 314

Wall Street Reform Scorecard: Senators Ranked - Main Street or Wall Street?


A national public interest
advocacy organization compared a series of
key votes of U.S. Senators during consideration of the Restoring
Financial Stability Act this month and found that, while 11 received
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,
on May 20. Among the amendments considered were the following:

  • The
    Shelby (R-AL) amendment to severely weaken the proposed Consumer
    Protection Bureau (Defeated, Public Interest Vote = No).
  • The
    Chambliss (R-GA) amendment to weaken the bill's shadow markets
    reforms. (Defeated, Public Interest Vote = No).
  • The
    Carper (D-DE) amendment to weaken authority of state Attorneys General
    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.
scorecard examines important votes for consumers and taxpayers."

The legislation
must now be reconciled with a similar bill approved by the House in

For example, both
bills include an independent consumer agency and while the House bill
carve out car dealers from its oversight, the Senate bill would subject
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
from each bill, so that Main Street consumers who have lost millions of
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 to see
the Scorecard.

here for the
Amendment Voting Guide
U.S. PIRG issued prior to the votes.

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.