Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Banks Own the Senate

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Here in the midst of the Bush Depression, the American people look to their elected represenatives in Congress to show them a way forward. Sadly, this week a dozen Democratic Judas Senators betrayed the people they are supposed to serve by voting against the Durbin "cramdown" amendment. Cramdown would have allowed bankrupcy judges to rewrite mortgage terms. It would have kept Americans in their homes, saved neighbors' home values, and put many banking funding streams on solid footing.

The banking lobby, however, opposed the measure and lobbied hard. It's now obvious that the banks own the Senate. For mere millions, the banks have bought a core of Democratic senators resulting in billions of dollars for the banks, and leaving the American economic system much, much weaker.

Here's a list of the 12 Judas Democrats. Thankfully, both of our great Virginia Senators are not on this roll call of shame:

The Judas Dozen
Max Baucus (MT)
Michael Bennet (CO)
Robert Byrd (WV)
Tom Carper (DE)
Byron Dorgan (ND)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Arlen Specter (PA)
John Tester (MT)

Who is the most disappointing on this list? John Tester can usually be counted upon as a reliable populist vote and Robert Byrd has emerged in recent years as a consistent progressive. Very disappointing.

The sickening truth about this entire debacle is that these banks are using taxpayer funds for their lobbying efforts.


Democrats led by Durbin had sought a compromise on the measure with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., the American Bankers Association and Financial Services Roundtable. The lenders that scuttled the negotiations are “surviving today because of taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. The three banks he named received $95 billion in U.S. aid.

It's a sad time for America, but a new generation of engaged and aware voters are now certain that change is necessary. It's no longer enough to eliminate Republicans, Democrats must be held accountable as well.

Dick Durbin has a lot to say on this issue, "The banks own the Senate". This has to change.

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