For Immediate Release

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Public Citizen Decries Inappropriate Use of Funding Bill to Gut Banking and Campaign Finance Rules

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

WASHINGTON - Note: Today, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved a bill on party lines that includes a raft of harmful provisions. The bill goes before the full committee on Thursday, where more policy riders may be added.

Public Citizen decries destructive provisions inserted into the Senate Financial Services and General Government funding bill. This appropriations legislation is loaded with ideological policy riders and provides nowhere near the funding levels that would appropriately support the agencies under its purview.

This bill includes all of a 229-page financial deregulation bill already rejected by every Democrat on the Senate banking committee, which is the appropriate venue for these issues. It also includes provisions that would undermine the structure and functionality of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), as well as language that would relax campaign finance coordination rules between political parties and outside groups. This would create a loophole that would effectively override existing spending limits for coordinated spending between political parties and candidates.

The last thing the country needs is less banking regulation – and a repeat of the 2008 crash. Nor do we need to hamstring the CFPB, which has helped 17 million Americans obtain remedies for financial harm in just four years of existence. Further, the voting public has spoken out loud and clear about the need to curb money in politics – rather than make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to buy elections.

The Corporate Congress should drop its attempts to use a budget bill to circumvent the legislative process and reverse popular policies.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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