Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Jeanne Shaheen joined Gary Kalman of U.S. PIRG at a press conference this morning to discuss how Wall Street accountability legislation will put consumers back in control and prevent big banks from gambling with the American people’s money. At this event, Gary Kalman presented Senator Reid with two petitions signed by 125,000 people combined, calling on Congress to pass Wall Street reform. Unregulated excess and bad behavior on Wall Street was responsible for the loss of 8 million American jobs, major decline in home values, drastic increases in foreclosures and trillions in lost wealth to our economy. Through Wall Street accountability legislation, big banks will no longer be able to take advantage of seniors, small businesses and middle-class families. Senate Democrats are fighting to hold Wall Street accountable and will oppose any efforts to water down consumer protections in this bill.
Senator Reid: “The typical American household lost $100,000 in declining home values and lost retirement savings because of Wall Street’s gambling. Families in Nevada and across America paid a real life price tag for Wall Street’s mistakes and we cannot let history repeat itself. Republicans are trying to stall and weaken this strong bill to hold big banks accountable, but Democrats will fight to make sure that we do not let Wall Street off the hook for hurting so many American families.”
“We cannot afford to allow Wall Street to continue with business as usual as though nothing happened,” said Klobuchar. “Enacting these reforms is important for our financial markets, but it is even more important to getting the economy back on the right track for ordinary Americans.”
Senator Shaheen : “The reckless behavior of big financial institutions caused a ripple effect through our economy, and the American people are still trying to dig out of the financial hole created by Wall Street. Wall Street must be held accountable for the decisions that cost everyday Americans their jobs, homes, retirement funds, and businesses, and the best way to do that is by passing and enacting Wall Street reforms.”
“I am standing on behalf of U.S. PIRG and Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 200 citizen organizations, to present over 125,000 signatures from Americans who were hurt by the financial crisis,” said Gary Kalman of U.S. PIRG. “We are calling on Congress to act quickly to end deceptive and secretive practices by big banks and guard against future taxpayer-funded bailouts. We applaud the leadership of Senate Democrats who are working to pass Wall Street reform and hope that these signatures help make the case to pass the strongest possible bill.”