Originally posted at Represent.us blog,
The U.S. House just passed a bill called H.R. 992 – the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act – that was literally written by mega-bank lobbyists. It repeals the laws passed in 2010 to prevent another meltdown like the one that crashed our economy in 2008. The repeal was co-sponsored by a former Goldman Sachs executive and passed with bipartisan support from some of the House’s largest recipients of Wall Street cash. It’s so appalling… so unbelievable… so blatantly corrupt… that you’ve got to see it to believe it:
In 2010, Congress passed the “Dodd-Frank” law to clamp down on risky “derivatives trading” that led to the financial collapse of 2008. Dodd-Frank was weakened by banking lobbyists from the start and has been under attack by those lobbyists ever since. Now a new law written by Citigroup lobbyists (we couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried) exempts derivatives trading from regulation, and was passed this week by the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support.
It sounds bad… but don’t worry, it gets much, much worse:
- The New York Times reports that 70 of the 85 lines in the new House bill were literally written by Citigroup lobbyists (Citigroup was one of the mega-banks that brought our economy to its knees in 2008 and received billions in taxpayer money.)
- The same report also revealed “two crucial paragraphs…were copied nearly word for word.” You can even view the original documents and see how Citigroup’s lobbyists redrafted the House Bill, striking out ideas they didn’t like and replacing them with ones they did.
- The bills are sponsored by Randy Hultgren (R – IL), and co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) and others. Himes is a former Goldman Sachs executive, and chief fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
- Maplight reports that the financial industry is the top source of campaign funding for 6 of the bills’ 8 cosponsors.
- Maplight’s data shows that members of the House received $22,425,740 million from interest groups that support the bill — that’s 5.8 times more than it received from interest groups opposed.
- “House aides, when asked why Democrats would vote for this proposal even though the Obama administration opposes it, offered a political explanation. Republicans have enough votes to pass it themselves, so vulnerable House Democrats might as well join them, and collect industry money for their campaigns.” — New York Times
We elect Representatives to the House to represent us, the people — but both parties now refuse to do the job we elected them to do. And they won’t until we force them to. The American Anti-Corruption Act would stop this corruption, and Represent.Us is the movement behind the Act. Together, we can make blatant corruption illegal with simple reforms. It’s common sense that elected officials should be barred from collecting money from the industries they regulate.