ALERT – Financial Reform Bill

UPDATE – THE SENATE PASSED S.3217 LAST NIGHT – 5/20.  NOW IT GOES TO A HOUSE-SENATE COMMITTEE. Link Here for more information.

LEGISLATIVE ALERT UPDATE — IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED!!

“Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010” – S. 3217

TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PREVENT MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL

(Official deadline is 5/21/10 as Cloture Vote defeat of 5/19 probably has little delay effect!)

During the past 4 weeks, since the introduction of S. 3217, considerable activity has occurred behind the scenes.

News reports have periodically referred to “ongoing negotiations” between Democrats and Republicans.  While news reports have been somewhat intermittent, the two highlights have been:

*      the Democrats agreed to entertain amendments (after refusing any during the 22 minutes of deliberation allowed in the Finance Committee); and,

*      the provision for the permanent “Bailouts Fund” was removed – amid ongoing ballyhoo, stating the “taxpayers will never again be left holding the bag”.

What have been the actual effects of these 2 “major developments”??

First, while the GOP has strived to modify this bill sufficiently, only minor changes have resulted.  With 41 Republican Senators and 59 Democrats, failure to effect material changes was hardly surprising, especially given the partisanship which characterizes this Administration.  Even with the successful defeat of the Vote for Cloture on Wednesday, extending the time to propose amendments, it is doubtful this pattern will change.  In addition, there is a serious question of how much actual delay from the original target date (5/21/10) to vote will result.

Second, the highly visible removal of the “Bailout Fund”, and, the empowerment of the FDIC to enable its funding by assessing ‘fees’ from “selected companies” did in fact occur.  However!, the FDIC now has the ability power to “borrow” as much money from the U. S. Treasury as it deems necessary for ‘loans’ to any designated company.  Such loans will be repaid by the DIC “attempting to recoup” the money from that company’s shareholders and creditors, as well as by sale of ‘liquidated assets’.  This gigantic legislated “shell game” does not materially modify the “feed” or “seize” power of the Secretary of the Treasury in any way.

Otherwise, despite both the original and recent delays, as well as repeated attempts by the GOP to reduce the magnitude of this Federal power-grab, little else has changed; the most disastrous provisions remain.  These include:

  • The Secretary of the Treasury continues to be empowered to make “feed” or “seize”

decisions for a wide variety of companies; the latter applies to any he deems “unstable”.

  • There is NO Judicial or Congressional oversight of either the Secretary or the FDIC; any affected company is literally without legal recourse.
  • A “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection” is established, with the power to:

– require submission of an application for approval by any new company before its owner can recruit investment capital.  A minimum of 120 days is expected for this process.  There will be a definite chilling effect on both new companies and the jobs they generate!

– establish a huge computer system to collect data on every financial transaction in the

USA!   This will be an invasion of your privacy, not just a monitoring of selected  companies.

– This data collection is justified as needed to “develop further government policy and  for promulgation of regulations” to apply to the economy.

  • Since the FCC attempt to control the internet was struck down in Federal court, there is a provision authorizing the FTC to promulgate regulations institute the identical action!
  • There is a provision for promulgation of regulations for the Insurance Industry which would reduce it to the status of a Public Utility – very bad for needed competition, etc.
  • A provision funds the return of Fannie Mae to the sub-prime market; this is exactly the behavior which caused the 2008 crisis!

Notable Omissions in this Bill include:

  • NO attempt to deal with out-of-control Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – who are largely

responsible for the financial crisis of 2008.  Justification of this omission was attempted

by actually characterizing the problem as “too complicated”!

  • NO attempt to deal with a continuing concern that a major contributor to the 2008

Crisis was systemic in nature, caused by some repairable inherent characteristics of

our commercial banking/investment banking system.

  • NO reduction of Big companies’ likelihood to take unreasonable risks due to continued

assurance of being “bailed out”, should they possess sufficient political favor.

NOTE:  for better understanding of the genesis of this proposed legislation, please refer to the “Background Information” section on the Legislative Page on the MTC web site.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Call, email or fax the Senators listed, below, beginning on page 3.  Urge them to oppose this bill, utilizing the “Talking Points” below.
  • Forward this email to all your friends and relatives, both in NC and across the country
  • Use the power of the Internet!  It will increase your impact on this issue!!

‘TALKING POINTS”

* This bill is NOT repairable!  PLEASE oppose passage!

*  Cite any of the provisions or omissions in the bill, as outlined, above.

* The GOP must stand united against this latest Federal power grab!

* It’s good to be the “Party of NO!” when bill after bill pushes our Country ever further downhill

towards bankruptcy and Socialism!

* American Voters must see the GOP fighting for them!

* Even if the Bill passes, a united GOP makes possible the reclaiming of Congress, and, repair

of the damages legislatively inflicted during 2009 & 2010!

* Please continue to “speak out” in the future about:

  • the huge dangers to the health of our economy imbedded in this bill!
  • The sizable chilling effect on formation of new businesses, and, loss of JOB creation!
  • The huge increase in Federal power enabling disastrous meddling with our Free Market system – which has resulted in the most prosperous nation in history!
  • In addition to projected regulations, the Secretary of the Treasury has unlimited power

to seize &/or micromanage almost any selected company!

  • The loss of normal legal protections by many of our businesses!
  • Our loss of our Right to Privacy, inherent in the BCFP’s monitoring of all financial transactions.

* PLEASE tell each person with whom you speak that you, and MTC, will support all who fight for our Children’s Future!

How is yet more government control going to prevent what sufficient government oversight & control did not correct or prevent prior to 2008?!?!

CONTACTS LIST:

Note:

— Senators listed in BLACK are the Republican leaders; give them your support, and,

urge them to continue work to keep the GOP united, and, to speak out about the

dangers in this bill, even after next week.

— Senators listed in RED are rumored to be pro-bill, or, have actually voted against GOP

amendments.

— Senators listed in BLUE are Democrats who have supported GOP amendments, and should be urged to continue to vote for their country, not the Administration’s disastrous-to-the-economy legislation.

Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader

mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Phone: (202) 224-2541         FAX: 202-224-2499

Jon Kyl, Minority Whip

kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Phone: 202-224-4521  FAX: 202-224-2207

Lamar Alexander, Republican Conference, Chair

alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email

Phone: 202-224-4944         FAX: 202-228-3398

John Thune, Republican  Policy, Chair

thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactEmail

Phone: 202-224-2321        FAX: 202-228-5429

Judd Gregg, New Hampshire

gregg.senate.gov/contact/

Phone: 202-224-3324       FAX: 202-224-4952

Susan Collins, Maine

collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorCollins.EmailIssue&CFID=42332418&CFTOKEN=65610887

Phone: 202-224-2523       FAX: 202-224-2693

Olympia Snowe, Maine

snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorSnowe.Email

Phone: 202-224-5344                FAX: 202-224-1946

Bob Corker, Tennessee

corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe

Phone: 202-224-3344      FAX: 202-228-0566

Lindsay Graham, S. C.

lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.EmailSenatorGraham

Phone: 202-224-5972     FAX: 202-224-3808

Scott Brown, Massachusetts

comments@scottbrown.senate.gov

Phone: 202-224-4543     FAX: 202-228-2646

Robert Bennett

bennett.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Phone: 202-224-5444      FAX: ?

Kit Bond, Missouri

bond.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.ContactForm

Phone: 202-224-5721      FAX: ?

Richard Lugar, Indiana

lugar.senate.gov/contact/

Phone: 202-224-4814      FAX: (202) 228-0360

George Voinovich, Ohio

voinovich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Phone: 202-224-3353      FAX: ?

Maria Cantwell, Washington

cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm

Phone: 202-224-3441      FAX: 202-228-0514

Byron L. Dorgan, North Dakota

dorgan.senate.gov/contact/contact_form.cfm

Phone: 202-224-2551      FAX: 202-224-1193

Russell Feingold, Wisconsin

feingold.senate.gov/contact_opinion

Phone: 202-224-5323      FAX: 202-224-2725

Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas

lincoln.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

Phone: 202-224-4843      FAX: 202-228-1371

Bernard Sanders (I), Vermont

sanders.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm

Phone: 202-224-5141      FAX: 202-228-0776

Jim Webb, Virginia

webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Phone: 202-224-4024      FAX: 202-228-6363

Ron Wyden, Oregon

wyden.senate.gov/contact/

Phone: 202-224-5244      FAX: 202-228-2717

Linda Jarrett, Coordinator, Legislation Committee

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