Republicans in Washington have been working feverishly to complete a massive piece of legislation known as The Choice Act that would repeal many of the current regulations that are in place for Wall Street banks. The bill would gut Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it would allow banks that have the most money to operate with nearly no federal oversight. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.
Transcript of the above video:
When the Affordable Care Act was first passed, one of the biggest issues that Republicans had with the piece of legislation was that it was too long. I mean, good God. They complained about the tax code because it’s just too long; it’s like a book. We can’t read a book. Meanwhile, today, those same Republicans are currently drafting a piece of legislation that is already 593 pages long that will do nothing more than deregulate Wall Street bankers.
This specific piece of legislation, that they’re ironically calling the Choice Act, is going to allow banks to operate with even less oversight than they have today. It will effectively get rid of all of the protections put in place by Dodd-Frank, and it will almost completely defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has recovered billions of dollars for American consumers. That organization, as you know, was kind of spearheaded by Senator Elizabeth Warren; that’s one of her crowning achievements.
Republicans absolutely hate it, and this piece of legislation will now allow the funding for that organization to come directly from Congress at Congress’, basically, their whim. If they don’t feel like funding it, they don’t have to fund it, according to the Choice Act. The danger here is obvious. We’ve seen what happens. We saw what happened during the Bush years.
We saw the rampant crime that took place among Wall Street bankers when nobody was looking over their shoulder. These are people that do not operate under the assumption that they’re going to do the right thing no matter what. Hell no. These are people who at any given opportunity, any time they think somebody’s not looking over their shoulder, they’re going to do the wrong thing. History proves that. There are currently too many lawsuits against Wall Street bankers for doing illegal things and stealing money from consumers than you can count.
Those lawsuits are still going on because we have the documents. We have seen the things that they have said, the things that they have done when they know that regulators are not looking over their shoulders. Occasionally, the Department of Justice would slap them with a fine, of which they’d only pay about 25%. The rest of it would be covered by taxpayers, so they have no incentive to not commit a crime other than these civil lawsuits by trial lawyers. Those are the only people holding these guys accountable right now.
If this Choice Act passes, which Republicans are pretty sure it’s going to pass the house and it very likely could pass the Senate and become law, we’re going to see a new era of lawlessness on Wall Street. I mean, hell. One of the only people that ever put a Wall Street banker in prison was Ronald Reagan, but we had more than 600 people in the savings and loans scandals actually go to jail. Clinton didn’t do it. Bush didn’t do it. Obama didn’t do it. Trump won’t do it.
Now we’re just trying to take out the middle man and say, “You know what? Let’s just make it not illegal. Then we don’t have to worry about prosecuting you. Hell, the only people that are going to suffer are American consumers, American voters, but what do they matter. They can’t write a campaign check for us. They can’t give us money to run for office again. Screw them.” If you think I’m speaking in hyperbole here, I’m not. This is not hyperbole. This is what they’re thinking. This is what they’re doing. That is what the Choice Act is all about.
Wall Street bankers fund campaigns of both Republicans and Democrats. American voters, average people, middle class people, they’re not out there writing checks. They’re just out there casting a vote, and Republicans don’t care about that as much they care about those money, and to be honest, neither do the Democrats at this point.
This bill is a huge giveaway to Wall Street bankers who want to operate in this wild west mentality that there are no rules, that there are no consequences. They’ve been living like this for too long and we have seen what happens. The bankers don’t suffer, but the American public sure as hell does.