“Senate Votes for Big Banks and Against the People!”

The People vs. Big Banks! Who won the vote in the Senate last week?

Last Thursday night the Senate voted on an important amendment for ‘the people’ of this country—protecting the American people from predatory banks. The amendment (Brown (OH) amdt. No. 3733) to Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, would impose leverage and liability limits on bank holding companies and financial companies. Essentially a controlled method of separating the banks and protecting depositors and investors—‘the people.’

There are many reasons to break up the Big Banks and those are discussed in greater detail in “Break ’em Up!” But mostly it’s because of what the banks continue to do to middle-class Americans with impunity.

Surely the Senate voted in favor of their constituents?

Unfortunately, 61 Senators voted in favor of the banks and against the people of their states including, Senator Diane Feinstein, the great disappointment from my state of California. Only 33 Senators voted on the side of ‘the people,’ including 3 astute Republicans. Senators Shelby, Coburn, and Ensign joined 30 Democrats in voting to restore the banks to pre-Gramm/Leach/Bliley controls. Six (6) Senators did not vote on the amendment. But where were the other 29 Democrats on this vote? They voted for Big Banks!

Are they bought and sold?

I do know the following from my research for “Corruption, With a Lot of Help from Their Friends!” Many of those that should have voted yes but voted NO are the recipients of sizable campaign donations from the Big 6: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Over the last 20 years Goldman has given candidates in the Senate and House $31,612,375.00, more recently the lion’s share to Dems. JP Morgan Chase has given over $20,000,000.00, almost equal to Dems and Republicans, with the higher amount going to the party in power in each election cycle.

It’s easy to see why some members of Congress voted on this important amendment for corporations and against the voters. To see how your Senator voted you can access the Roll Call on the U.S. Senate, 111th Congress portion of the web site.

Senator Sherrod Brown introduced the amendment with 12 cosponsors including Senator Ted Kaufman who has been a strong advocate of breaking up the banks. All 12 cosponsors were Democrats. Unfortunately, Senator Kaufman, after serving just two years in Vice President Joe Biden’s seat, will be leaving office.

One of the major causes in the recessionary crisis Main Street is still feeling is the Big Banks. One of the most important factors in protecting consumers is breaking up the Big Banks. One of the biggest factors in why it won’t be done is the Big Banks.

Financial reform, which by every definition means re-regulating the banks, is Senator Chris Dodd’s defining moment. Senator Dodd would surely be leading the charge to join Brown and Kaufman in implementing the most obvious solution for reforming the financial sector. Dodd voted NO! He’s taken millions from the banks!

New York has a Senator that is for the people in Charles Schumer. Schumer voted NO! Senator Schumer’s top 5 contributors are Big Banks that have given him nearly $2 million! Senator Mike Bennet is in a tough race in Colorado. He pushed for the Public Option in the recent healthcare reform. He’ll vote for the people of his state, against the banks, and benefit in the coming election. Bennet voted NO! Evan Bayh is leaving the Senate and will want to leave something the people of Indiana will respect him for. Bayh voted NO! And there are many other stories like this.

Uneffing believable!

It’s understandable why the Republicans voted NO for an amendment that would help the people. They’ve been bought and sold by big corporate money for many years. There is no way they are going to vote for something that helps ‘the people.’ Their obstructive behavior has become so obvious and tiresome that the time has come to sweep them out of office.

The 3 Republican Senators that voted for Senate amendment 3733 are all up for reelection. That’s not to imply they would have voted differently had they not been a Class III member of the Senate. There are 30 other Class III Senators up for election this year and many of them voted no!

Surprisingly, Senators Brownback, Crapo, Murkowski, and Thune voted no! Up for reelection one would think they would vote on the side of the people. Brownback’s constituents in Kansas would be helped by financial reform. Crapo, despite getting 100% of the vote in 2004 , has received nearly $700,000 from Big Banks and investment firms. Murkowski in Alaska, and Thune in South Dakota, having been in tight elections last time around should have voted for their constituents. But, for their own selfish reasons, none of them did. Some others were also difficult to figure out.

The hardest one of all to understand was ‘the Maverick,’ John McCain. Locked in a tough battle with Tea Party candidate, J.D. Hayworth, John would surely cement his reelection with a vote ‘for the people’ and against big corporate predators. But he, too, voted no!

But the biggest disappointments? Finance committee members Kerry, Carper, Conrad, Nelson from Florida, and Menendez who wants an audit of the Fed. We should be dismayed by the no votes of Landrieu, Hagan, Tester, and Warner. But ‘the one,’ he who has been a huge disappointment on almost every issue that he is faced with is the Faux Politician, Joe Lieberman. These Senators should be held accountable for our continued struggle and the disproportionate exchange of wealth.

You would think that everyone of the Senators who voted for the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Bill, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, and TARP, would be eager to make up for their mistakes; for it was these mistakes that unleashed the predatory banks that we are now pressured to break up before they cause another crisis and irreparable damage.

Congress continues to vote against ‘the people’ and Main Street suffers the consequences of their inept governance. This country can ill-afford paying for more of their incompetence.

It’s time to send a message to those that vote against us and replace them with new voices; new ‘patriotic’ Americans.

I’m going to push hard to get rid of Royce and Miller and other corrupt and inefficient politicians. Paraphrasing the words of Ronald Reagan, “they are the cause of our problems, not the solution.”

Congress has forgotten that ‘we, the people’ are the democracy. We are the backbone of democracy. Many of them have forgotten, they work for us!

We, ‘the people’ have suffered far to long!

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