Washington, DC—Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray and Senator Sherrod Brown joined Heather Booth of Americans for Financial Reform, Nancy Zirkin of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Reverend Eugene Barnes of National People’s Action on a conference call this afternoon to call on Republicans to complete work on legislation to protect American consumers and hold Wall Street accountable.
“For far too long the financial rules of the road have favored Wall Street executives over working families in Washington state and across the country,” said Senator Murray. “We can never again let the risks and irresponsible behavior of Wall Street hurt Main Street this way. It’s time to put progress before politics and people before Wall Street. It’s time to pass this bill to ensure that consumers are protected and taxpayers are never again left holding the bag for greed and risk on Wall Street.”
“This is about holding Wall Street accountable to ensure that American taxpayers never have to bail out the big banks again. While taxpayers helped Wall Street banks get back on their feet, Main Street Americans were not so lucky. Their homes, their jobs, and their retirement accounts were lost or put at risk due to big banks that gambled with their money,” said Senator Brown. “Now, Wall Street banks – and some of their allies on Capitol Hill – are intent on blocking meaningful reform. They’re attempting to block the bill, carve out loopholes, or kill it through delay. It is past time to act. We need to pass tough Wall Street reform that holds banks accountable and protects consumers.”
“Nearly two years after the financial crisis began, it is long past time to hold those responsible accountable for their actions, which cost this country 8 million jobs and led to taxpayer-funded bailout,” said Heather Booth. “It is time for an up-or-down vote that shows the American people which elected officials are really on their side, and which ones are shilling for the big banks. There remains an opportunity to make this strong bill even stronger, just as there is still time for the lobbyists to sneak in their special interest loopholes to gut it. We must remain vigilant against stealth attacks that weaken the bill and leave the door open to the casino economy.”
“After weeks of open debate, the time has come for the Senate to vote to limit debate and pass a strong bill that reforms the unchecked, reckless practices of Wall Street and gives voice to the millions of working Americans who have shown their overwhelming support for financial reform,” said Nancy Zirkin. “We in the civil and human rights community are committed to fighting for the strongest bill possible until final passage.”
“More and more Americans are making the connection between a broken banking system and a broken democracy,” said Reverend Dr. Eugene Barnes. “Everyday Americans from across the country are seeing the direct line between Wall Street banks and other unaccountable corporations, their big bank Street lobbyists, and the Members of Congress who do their bidding. They have hijacked our democracy, and we are going to take it back."