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Maxine W.
Democrat CA 43

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  • Providing for Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83, Insular Areas and Freely Associated States Energy Development

    by Representative Maxine Waters

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    WATERS. Madam Chair, I have come to the floor today to stop Republican efforts to give Wall Street banks a multibillion dollar gift this Christmas.

    Under the cover of must-pass legislation, big bank lobbyists are hoping that Congress will allow Wall Street to once again gamble with taxpayer money by reversing a provision that prohibits banks from using taxpayer-insured funds--bank deposits--to engage in risky derivatives trading activity.

    In fact, The New York Times reported that Citigroup, a bank that stands to directly benefit to the tune of billions of dollars, authored this provision. Big banks want to use their cheap funds provided by the taxpayer backstop to undercut their competition in a ``heads I win, tails the taxpayer loses'' scenario.

    {time} 1100 We know why Republicans want it. The spending bill also quietly allows individuals such as the big banks to contribute millions more to their own reelections. This provision must be stopped. Enough is enough.

    This puts taxpayers at risk. This puts consumers at risk. This provision directly weakens a provision intended to prevent future bailouts of Wall Street. The Obama administration said this provision could be disruptive and harmful. Former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the provision takes reform in the wrong direction.

    It is also strongly opposed by consumer, labor, and civil rights groups, and former chairman Barney Frank, who puts the Frank in Dodd- Frank, called it a frightening precedent. So I agree, and I am urging a ``no'' vote.

    I just heard the gentleman say this is bipartisan and this is bicameral. It is neither. As a matter of fact, Democrats are not going to join in putting this bill out.

    [[Page H9070]] We understand that our constituents, our workers, our people out there, our consumers know that we bailed out the big banks, and they know that we would be putting them at risk one more time to bail them out if we allowed them to do this risky derivatives trading.

    Dodd-Frank said you need to push out your trading activities and put them in affiliates or subsidiaries. Don't try and use the people's backstop, FDIC protection, to do this risky trading with.

    If you think the American public is going to stand for a bailout of the biggest banks in America one more time, you are wrong. This bill is going nowhere because we have enough people, I believe, that are going to stand up and fight on this issue and other issues in the bill.

    As the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, I am just focusing on this one bad part of the bill because it is so outrageous.

    I ask for a ``no'' vote on the rule, I ask for a ``no'' vote on the bill.

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