Lawmakers Oppose Forcing Wall Street Riders Onto Year-End Spending Bill

As the end of the year approaches, Wall Street lobbyists have been putting the “pedal to the metal,” trying to ensure that there are some holiday gifts for them wrapped up in the year-end spending bill. Just as they did last year, Wall Street is planning to jam dangerous and widely unpopular deregulation onto the “must-pass” spending bill. But many lawmakers have been pushing back, saying that it’s “cynical and corrupt.” From speaking out on Twitter to making speeches on the floor of the Senate, lawmakers have said NO to riders that roll back financial reform. Here is a compilation of some of their comments.

On December 8th, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) organized several speeches with his colleagues on the Senate floor against Wall Street deregulation on the year-end spending bill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). (TRANSCRIPT)

Senator Nelson spoke first, about “special interests” that are “sneaking sweetheart deals” into the ‘must-pass’ spending bill:

Then, Senator Merkley kicked off the colloquy with the other three Senators, discussing how these riders threaten to “reopen the Wall Street casino and put American families at peril”:

Senator Jack Reed noted the profitability of the large banks, saying that they’d seen their stock prices increase by “at least by 31 percent and in some cases as high as 114
percent” since July 2010. Senator Reed noted “I don’t know many working families who have seen a 31
percent increase in their income or a 114 percent increase in their

Senator Elizabeth Warren called the inclusion of these riders “cynical and corrupt”:

On November 19th, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) spoke out against the work of some of his colleagues who are “poisoning the very appropriations bills with policy riders that they know are opposed and that would undermine the ability of the federal government to function.” (TRANSCRIPT)

“As the Ranking Member of the Financial Services Appropriation Subcommittee,” Senator Coons said, “I want to be clear that it’s particularly unacceptable to me to use the appropriations process to roll back the many of the critical Wall Street reforms put in place over five years ago in response to the financial crisis that was devastating to the economy, to families, and to businesses throughout Delaware and the country.”:

Also on November 19th, Senator Merkley spoke out against “poison pill riders”:

On November 10th, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spoke out against any deregulatory Wall Street riders being attached to the spending bill, saying “I didn’t come here to carry water for the big banks.”

“The lobbyists are swarming this place. They want to roll back financial regulations, and they are working every contact they can to attach rollbacks onto anything that moves…They probably can’t get a rollback of financial regulations passed out in the open where Americans can see what’s happening—and see which senators and which representatives voted to gut the rules for the Wall Street banks. So they slip the rollbacks into must-pass legislation, which gives the financial industry’s friends in Congress a lot of cover.”:

In addition, many members of Congress have taken to twitter to voice their opposition to attempts to force Wall Street deregulation & other ideological policy riders onto the year-end spending bill.