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Sun Dec 14, 2014, 05:22 PM

The Unsurpri$ing Connection Between the Two Odious Parts of the Cromnibus

http://billmoyers.com/2014/12/12/unsurpriing-connection-two-odious-parts-cromnibus/
(emphasis my own)

Progressives revolted over two provisions in the massive compromise spending bill about to become law. One provision rolls back banking regulation of derivatives under the Dodd-Frank Act passed during the financial crisis. The other provision will vastly increase the amount of money which individuals can donate to political parties. A couple could give their favorite political party over $3 million during a two-year election cycle. (It is quite sad for the House to pass the provision the night of Tom Mann’s retirement party from Brookings; Tom was so instrumental in the writing and passage of the McCain-Feingold law, whose soft money limits have now been severely undermined by the Cromnibus.)

The two objectionable provisions might seem unrelated, but in fact they are quite interrelated. Both show the importance of the role of money and influence in Washington. On the derivatives law heavily favored by the banking industry, the NYT explains:

“The language in the spending bill was inserted by Representative Kevin Yoder, Republican of Kansas, but he did not write it. Citigroup did. In 2013, the bank and its allies were able to corral a bipartisan vote to pass the rollback out of the House Financial Services Committee. In an analysis by The New York Times of Citigroup emails, more than 70 lines of the committee’s 85-line rollback bill came from Citigroup’s recommendations. The banking industry strongly supports the rollback measure. James C. Ballentine, an executive vice president at the American Bankers Association, said financial instruments like credit deferred swaps are used to mitigate risk, not bolster it. To force their trading into units unprotected by federal taxpayers would be onerous, he argues.”


On the campaign finance measure, this was not something that anti-regulationist Mitch McConnell forced on unwilling Democrats. This was negotiated by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and likely supported by President Obama. No one has been a bigger hypocrite on campaign finance than President Obama, who has always talked about the need for campaign finance reform while his actions did a tremendous amount to undermine and weaken existing law.

Neither of these provisions were the subject of hearings or deliberation. Both were snuck into a massive bill through the back door at the behest of the powerful.
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The Senate has not voted on the Funding bill, so you still have time to call your Senators to tell them what you think of this back door sabotage of Democracy.

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