Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Which 73 Democrats Just Voted to Gut Dodd-Frank Today?

While you were reading about the NSA today (and the NSA, of course, was reading along with you), the House of Representatives passed several pieces of legislation with bipartisan majorities.
The House passed the South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act 404 to 0.  It passed the Rattlesnake Mountain Public Access Act 409 to 0.  And it voted to gut Dodd-Frank by a vote of 301 to 124.  Thankfully, at least, the big banks aren't as popular as Rattlesnake Mountain.

The Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act, or--as former Golden Sachs programmer and current Occupy Wall Street activist called it---the "Intimidate the CFTC ACT"--changes how derivatives are regulated. One should immediately see warning lights by the word "certainty" with its echoes of the language that banks and polluters always use when they want to gut regulations--in the name of certainty, never self-interest.  The bill first would force the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to "harmonize" their rules governing derivatives, i.e., adopt the weaker rules of the SEC.  However, there's more danger in the bill because it would exempt foreign trades from regulation.  In an article this morning in the Washington Post, Goldstein explains,
It makes a crucial, and dangerous, blanket assumption: If a U.S. bank does derivatives trading in one of the nine largest swaps markets, that country’s rules are assumed to be as strong as the United States’, so the U.S. rules need not apply.

This is a ridiculous assumption, because if the rules were truly equivalent, there would be no need for this bill in the first place. In fact, this would allow U.S. banks to dodge U.S. rules in favor of weaker rules overseas. Yet as the last crisis showed, even when banks attempt to hide the risk overseas, that risk remains at home. AIG failed because of derivatives traded out of their London office. More recently, JPMorgan Chase lost more than $6 billion last year due to their infamous “London Whale” trades, which were the subject of a devastating report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
During the debate today, Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) said the bill would “create a loophole big enough to drive an AIG truck through." Jamie Dimon would be so proud of Congress!  The White House has expressed its disapproval of the bill but has not yet issued a veto threat. 
As I noted earlier, the bill passed 301 to 124.  Among the 301 supporters were 228 Republicans and 73 Democrats.  The 124 opponents consisted of 122 Democrats and two lone Republican dissenters.
The two Republican dissenters, who deserve praise for breaking for party lines, were Walter Jones (NC-03), Iraq War critic and one of the few Republicans to vote against the Paul Ryan budget, and freshman Jim Bridenstine (OK-01).  If you live in their districts, call them and thank them for their vote against the bill.

Now, let's move to "name and shame" time.  Which 73 Democrats voted with Wall Street and put taxpayers at risk for future bailouts?  Almost all of the conservative Blue Dogs and corporatist New Dems voted for the bill.  Unfortunately, a few members of the Progressive Caucus (including Raul Grijalva?!) also voted for it.  Some of the Democrats in this list are pursuing higher office, e.g. Allyson Schwartz in the 2014 PA gubernatorial race, Gary Peters in the 2014 Michigan senatorial race.

Ron Barber (AZ-02) – New Democrat
John Barrow (GA-12) – New Democrat; Blue Dog
Ami Bera (CA-07) – New Democrat
Sanford Bishop (GA-02) – Blue Dog
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Tony Cárdenas (CA-29)
John Carney (DE-AL) – New Democrat
Andre Carson (IN-07) – New Democrat; Progressive Caucus
William “Lacy” Clay (MO-01) – Progressive Caucus
Jim Clyburn (SC-06) – Assistant Democratic Leader; National Mobilization Chair, DCCC
Gerry Connolly (VA-11) – Vice-Chair, New Democrat Coalition
Jim Cooper (TN-05) – New Democrat; Blue Dog
Jim Costa (CA-16) – Blue Dog
Joseph Crowley (NY-14) – DC Finance Chair, DCCC
Henry Cuellar (TX-28) – Blue Dog
Elijah Cummings (MD-07) – Progressive Caucus
John Delaney (MD-06) – New Democrat
Susan DelBene (WA-01) – New Democrat
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) – New Democrat
Bill Foster (IL-11) – New Democrat
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Pete Gallego (TX-23) – Blue Dog
Joe Garcia (FL-26) – New Democrat
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03) – Co-Chair, Progressive Caucus
Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) – Progressive Caucus
Janice Hahn (CA-44) – Progressive Caucus
Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) – New Democrat
Denny Heck (WA-10) – New Democrat
Jim Himes (CT-04) – Vice Chair, New Democrat Coalition; National Finance Chair, DCCC
Steven Horsford (NV-04)  -- Progressive Caucus
Steve Israel (NY-03) – Committee Chair, DCCC
Hank Johnson (GA-04) – Progressive Caucus
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06) – New Democrat
Ron Kind (WI-03) – Chair, New Democrat Coalition
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02) – Progressive Caucus
Rick Larsen (WA-02) – Vice-Chair, New Democrat Coalition
Daniel Lipinski (IL-03)
Nita Lowey (NY-17)
Dan Maffei (NY-24) – New Democrat
Sean Maloney (NY-18) – New Democrat
Jim Matheson (UT-02) – Blue Dog
Mike McIntyre (NC-07) – New Democrat; Blue Dog
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Grace Meng (NY-06)
Gwen Moore (WI-04) – Progressive Caucus
Patrick Murphy (FL-18) – New Democrat
Bill Owens (NY-21) – New Democrat
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) – New Democrat
Scott Peters (CA-52) – New Democrat
Gary Peters (MI-14) – New Democrat; Vice Chair of DCCC’s Recruitment Committee; Michigan Senate candidate
Collin Peterson (MN-07) – Blue Dog
Jared Polis (CO-02) – New Democrat; Progressive Caucus; National Chair for Candidate Services, DCCC
Mike Quigley (IL-05) – New Democrat
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02) – New Democrat
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) – New Democrat; Blue Dog
Brad Schneider (IL-10) – New Democrat
Kurt Schrader (OR-05) – New Democrat; Blue Dog
Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) – Vice Chair, New Democrat Coalition; PA Gubernatorial Candidate
Terri Sewell (AL-07) – New Democrat; Vice Chair of Finance, DCCC
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Krysten Sinema (AZ-09) – New Democrat
Bennie Thompson (MS-02) – Progressive Caucus
Juan Vargas (CA-51) – New Democrat
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Filemon Vela (TX-34) – New Democrat

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