Call Your Senators Over Sneak Attack On the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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The Republicans have threatened to kill the CFPB and they look to have finally pulled out their gun and taken aim. I received this message from Mary Bottari:

In a last minute development, opponents of financial reform are pushing for votes TODAY on amendments to gut the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (AMENDMENT NUMBER #391 – Moran), and to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act entirely (AMENDMENT NUMBER #394 – DeMint) . A vote to delay and try to derail curbs on fees banks charge merchants – and thus the consumer – on debit cards is already scheduled (AMENDMENT NUMBER #392 – Tester).

Call your Senators now and tell them to oppose these proposals to gut the CFPB!

It is particularly important that your Senators hear from you that a vote for the Moran amendment on the CFPB is a vote to destroy the new Consumer Bureau. This proposal would put the regulators who failed to protect us from the predatory practices that led to the 2008 financial collapse IN CHARGE of the CFPB. It would strip the CFPB of its ability to stand up for consumers. It is designed to gut the consumer watch dog before it even opens its doors in July, and protect the big Wall Street banks and the status quo.

Tell your Senators to stand up for the CFPB and to urge the President to appoint Elizabeth Warren as its Director.

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    1. dimitris

      Right, evidently I can’t read very well today, it passed. Sorry about the noise :(

      1. liberal

        Link says it failed. A simple majority voted for it, but the linked page also said 3/5 were need. So it sounds like a vote for cloture that failed.

        1. dimitris

          Ah, correct. Brain misfire due to insufficient caffeine.

          Glad it got shot down, although it seems/feels like a rearguard action.

  1. Impeach Obama

    I phoned my Democratic Bank Stooge and asked the intern to relay the strong public desire to impeach Obama for failing to properly address the housing crisis. (and everything else, from civil rights to illegal wars)
    I also asked for the Senator’s resignation, since he displayed “bitch-like” subservience to Banksters during the “debate period” before Dodd-Frank Wall Street “Reform”, lurched to pass.

    1. Just Tired

      We got Obama, why do we need to call our Senators. Oh, I think I just answered my own question. Never mind.

  2. Tao Jonesing

    Taking extraordinary measures to insist on incremental change is a waste of energy. Let’s save our energy for militating for real reform.

    The present system cannot be saved by “tweaking” it. The CFPB is weak sauce incremental change. You could put Thomas Jefferson or George Washington in charge of it, and the CFPB wouldn’t matter at all.

  3. reslez

    I suppose it’s a more useful activity than watching TV or playing video games, but it’s certainly galling that a free people has to beg and plead “our” “representatives” on such a matter. (Please do not quibble at the word free; we do not call ourselves slaves.) We all know the Congress is populated with soulless minions intent on executing the will of their billionaire paymasters. How much more Voter Outrage Theatre is really necessary?

  4. Everythings Jake

    I hate to be pessimistic, but I don’t think calling your senator is a good use of time anymore. They don’t care. They routinely vote against bills that the public overwhelmingly supports (or prevent bills from coming to a vote, or amend the bills to strip them of any and all effect). To cite one example, single-payer health care. Polls reflect something like 80 percent of the population supports it. I keep reading that they have been consumed with the swipe card fee issue – laughingly (ha ha ha) referred to as full K street employment because they have been besieged for months by lobbyists from both big merchants and big banks.

    Not to leave you in despair, I’m beginning finally from the real progressive blogosphere (by which I do not mean less DKos et al., and more Ian Welsh) calls to active militant resistance. I hope it occurs. Obama and Geithner may be even more sociopathic than (in Ian’s great phrase) our lords and masters.

    1. tts

      Militant resistence would end badly. There is hardly any Left at all in the US, most people are center Right with a significant minority being hard Right. If you start planting bombs or shooting people you’ll just be another terrorist and be used as a means to further hard Right political ends.

      If you want to do some resisting you could do some passive resistence or encourage others to do so and help organizations set up demonstrations.

      Meanwhile vote 3rd party, give money or support to other organizations that fight for citizen’s rights (ie. EFF, ALCU), and try to discuss these issues with your friends and family.

      1. James

        Things need to get worse before they can begin to get better. Fortunately/unfortunately, depending on your point of view, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. And it looks to be sooner rather than later. Militant “resistance” will eventually be seen as the soft option. And most people aren’t center right in any significant sense of the word. They’re just being protective of whatever they have left, knowing full well how easily it can all be taken (stolen) away. In losing it all, they will be liberated, and as the saying goes, “when you ain’t got nothin, you ain’t got nothin’ to lose.” Indeed!

        1. tts

          I would agree that things will have to get worse before they get better. But you have realize that in order for the country’s political ideology to shift to the Left from the Right that Right political concepts must be discredited first.

          That will not happen by itself. Its quite possible that the country could shift even further right into outright facsism and terrorism could be used by the Right to accomplish this. This was why I brought up that most people aren’t Left or even Center in this country. Without understanding why you’re killing people and/or blowing up stuff you’re just going to be another terrorist to them, a Lefty terrorist at that. The Left would become discredited in most people’s eyes as just a bunch of hippies and terrorists.

          You have to talk to people and get them talking instead of tossing molotov’s at their children, or brothers, or fathers, or sisters, or daughters, or mothers.

          1. James

            I think attempter has it right. Politics is no longer even relevant. The terms left and right are no longer meaningful, and haven’t actually been for some time now. The sea change will come when people who now have a vested interest in denying that fact have their lifelines cut as well. And I think that time’s coming sooner than most of them imagine. When it does, we will indeed begin to see some “change we can believe in,” for better or worse, and up close and personal as well. The third worlding of the United States will make believers of us all. Mind you, I’m not “calling for it,” I’m merely commenting on its inevitability.

          2. Praedor

            Recent scientific research demonstrates that “talking” doesn’t work. The more strongly someone believes in X, the more (violently) resistant to counter-argument they are. Actually showing them facts, real honest facts and supportive data literally pushes them to more tightly hold to their false belief.

            Facts, rationality, reason, cannot work.

            Consider: The crazy GOP calls for tax cuts at every turn, particularly tax cuts for the wealthy (screw everyone else). There has been tax cut after tax cut after tax cut for 20 years now for the wealthy and, according to their religious belief, this must lead to an increase in jobs.

            So where are the jobs? Taxes are the lowest they’ve been since the horrific “Gilded Age” and yet no jobs. So what is their answer? More tax cuts. The clear data in front of them that cutting taxes on the wealthy does NOT create jobs and does NOT increase govt revenues is blithely ignored and the religious belief in tax cuts as the literal answer to EVERYTHING is held to ever more strongly.

            Reason, facts, doesn’t work. Talking it out cannot work. The only thing that can work, that EVER works, is destruction. A lot of it.

          3. tts

            Well Left and Right encompass whole political and economic ideologies about how to go about doing things, you can’t really just say they no longer matter since pretty much everything falls under those 2 things.

            Praedor: if all you do is flash facts in their face then yes people can ignore that and shut you out. If you have a discussion with them its different. I’ve convinced my brother to become fairly far Left for instance and me and him used to get into shouting matches over that topic until I started to treat him with some respect. It took a long time mind you, months just to start for him to reconsider things. But it worked.

            Killing people won’t help. You can’t assassinate ideologies or political concepts. They have to be discredited.

          4. James

            Killing people won’t help. You can’t assassinate ideologies or political concepts. They have to be discredited.

            You’re right about that of course. Unfortunately, merely discrediting them isn’t and won’t make a difference either. What’s a poor boy to do? The true revolution won’t be planned, it will just happen spontaneously of its own accord when people have had enough. A little way to go yet I’m afraid, but the light is clearly visible on the distant horizon. It won’t be long now…

      2. Everythings Jake

        This was my writing fail: by militant resistance I meant the tradition of militant trade unionism (which was broken in this country in WWI but needs revival) – absolute non-cooperation in the form of blockades and other disruptions of economic activity, mass acts of civil disobedience, etc. I think one will have to be prepared for the state to exercise violence on behalf of the oligarchs, but I do still believe that if a sufficient mass of the population undertook to resist in these fashions (and like some other commenters, I believe that is inevitable, if painfully slow in coming), there would be change. I think UK Uncut is a good model for this (shutting down retail outlets and banks) – a mass sustained effort must at some point be harmful enough to effect change.

        1. James

          Your writing “fail” was nothing of the sort. No need to apologize for that which needs none. Enjoy the ride!

      3. Just Tired

        You want the Left back? It’s not that hard. The left is comprised of people who are comfortable financially and have secure incomes. The democrat party originally made its bones by addressing the problems of the “middle class” who are generally so busy getting through the day that they don’t have much time for the more intellectual pursuits of the Left. Unfortunately the democrat party tried to micromanage the votes from the middle class by breaking us down into groups: Blacks,Jews,Hispanics, gays and lesbians, handicapped and any other voting block that their pollsters could identify. Remember, ya gots to have a seat at the table! The problem is that the middle class was disected into parts that no longer even closely resembled the whole. So, in a two party system, where does the middle class go when the democrat party is no longer so hospitable? Well if you are shocked, you are shocked just like Claude Raines when he was shocked to find gambling at Rick’s in the movie Casa Blanca. People are center right because they (foolishly in my opinion) believe that that is the only place they can get the f@^%ing idiots that serve as politicians to help them. The democrats sold out the middle class. No ifs ands or buts. Like them or not, as Isaid,they made their bones representing the middle class and then took a big shit on them. Like my kids say, it’s not hard, Dad. Breaking down the middle class into groups, and then pitting them against one another, has destroyed our party system to the point that we do not have two parties but instead have two tracts for the idiots that aspire to govern us to be elected. Just off the top of my head, a few real men of principle come to mind: Richard Shelby, Arlen Specter, Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Three men of conviction that changed parties…to the one they could get elected in. My hope is to live long enough to see one change and then change back. Kind of like Roseanne Rosannadanna….”Never mind”.

        1. James

          Agreed (for the most part), although my “dream” is to dispense with all this left/right nonsense for good. Now wouldn’t THAT be a breath of fresh air?

          Politics, especially American style, what is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN! You know the rest.

          How about we all grow up and grow a pair? How about we all quit fucking around and love our neighbor and start voting locally, instead of this “global” bullshit we’ve all been sold by US global capitalist interests?

          How about it?

  5. Sokrates

    I called Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who have been on the right side much of the time, and gave them the amendment numbers. Here’s hoping. Yves, thank you for ringing the tocsin.

  6. Praedor

    I am more and more of a mind to just let them (the GOPers and the sold-out Dems) suck up to big banks and finance to their hearts content. Eliminate any and all controls and regulations. Do it. It will push the acelerator to the floor of when the USA and the current world financial system totally collapses into a flash of plasma.

    It may also hasten the start of an “Arab Spring” in the USA and the rest of the West. You have to burn this village to save it.

    1. James

      I’m of the same mind exactly. In fact, if I ever vote again at all, it will be as a “contrarian.” If Palin and Bachmann get on the ticket (although NoBama is doing a pretty damn piss-poor “good” job himself) then SIGN ME UP! Let’s get this party started y’all! Marshmallows anyone?

  7. PaulArt

    Amazing! I called both Senators from my State and shared my thoughts with the people who answered the call. Asked them why exactly are the Free Market supporters supporting TBTF Banks and against the CFPB. Was actually surprised – so far never called and spoken to a live person – only an answering machine.

  8. LAS

    Real staff people answered and were very courteous when I called my two Senators. I brought up two different issues, the CFPB being undercut/gutted and funding for libraries. Seems the staffers had experienced a rash of difficult calls on the CFPB and they were full of tension about it. Discussing the libraries, they were so much more relaxed. Well, who wouldn’t be? Wouldn’t be surprised if certain banks ask their employees to make calls and express the corporate opinion. I am aware that the tobacco companies did that some years back.

    1. Peter T

      “A vote to delay and try to derail curbs on fees banks charge merchants – and thus the consumer – on debit cards is already scheduled.” It was “defeated” by not reaching 60 votes, but MORE than 50 senators voted FOR it. And that after a major lobby campaign by retailers, WalMart, Target, etc. against it. Without the retailer lobby, the banking lobby would have cruised to victory as normal.

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