‘An ugly reflection of Wall Street’s political clout in both parties, purchased through billions in political spending over many decades.’
“Remember these names the next time Wall Street tanks our economy and taxpayers are left to bail out the Big Banks.”
That was the declaration by the progressive advocacy group Public Citizen late Wednesday after 17 members of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate joined with Republicans to pass a sweeping deregulatory banking bill, derisively referred to as the “Bank Lobbyist Act” by critics.
In addition to Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), 16 Democrats joined a unified Republican caucus in approving the so-called “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act”: Michael Bennet (Col.), Tom Carper (Del.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mont.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.).
The explanation for the lawmakers’ support for the bill, said Public Citizen, isn’t hard to explain or understand:
“Washington insiders are telling a story about centrist Democrats up for reelection aiming to demonstrate their commitment to bipartisanship,” said the Robert Weissman, the group’s president, in a statement. “But that fairy tale is upside down: among the public, there is in fact overwhelming bipartisan opposition to Wall Street deregulation.”
And Public Citizen was hardly alone in expressing its frustration with the 16 Democrats and Sen. Angus King, Independent of Maine, who caucuses with them: