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After taxpayers were burdened with the cost of bailing out the irresponsible gambling of Wall Street following the housing bubble burst and consequent recession in 2008, Congress passed legislation known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to make it so these financial institutions could not get paid for losses sustained in particularly risky investments (like the derivatives which crashed the market and forced us to bail them out in the first place).
Recently, however, The House of Representatives oh so quietly voted to repeal these very protections. In fact, the legislation, known officially as the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, was co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of 5 Republicans and 4 Democrats (The vote passed 292-122, with 70 of the 200 Democrats in the House joining 222 of the 231 Republicans).
It seems Congress can shutdown the government over funding a law, but when it comes to funding their high-stakes Wall Street gambling buddies they can come together for the greater good of the…er…banks.
I guess this isn’t surprising though. In total, House member received $22.4million dollars in campaign funding from lobbyist groups in favor of this bill (around 6 times the contributions from groups opposed). Even better, 70 of the 85 lines in this bill are copied almost word for word from a piece of model legislation written by lobbyists for Citigroup, a bank that was bailed out to the tune of $45billion following the recession.
Way to represent your constituencies, House of Representatives.