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Timeline of GOP Undermining of Wall Street Reform

As the Treasury Secretary noted on July 20th, 'many of those who fought reform during the legislative process are now trying to slow down and weaken rules, starve regulatory agencies of resources, and block nominations so that they can ultimately kill reform.  We will not let that happen. Too many Americans are still suffering from the pain of the financial crisis. We owe them a financial system with better protections against abuse and catastrophic risk.'

Here is the timeline of GOP actions:

  • January 5, 2011/Repeal Wall Street Reform: Republicans, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann, introduced legislation (H.R. 87) to repeal the Wall Street Reform. 
  • February 19, 2011/So Be It Budget: On behalf of Wall Street and big banks, Republicans voted for a spending plan (H.R. 1) that would have undercut the implementation of the Wall Street Reform law -- hamstringing watchdog agencies (the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC) charged with preventing future Bernie Madoff-type Ponzi schemes and other financial abuses.
  • May 5, 2011/Block Consumer Bureau Director: Nearly all Senate Republicans (44) signed a letter pledging to block anyone from serving as the Consumer Bureau's Director, unless changes to weaken the Bureau were adopted.  Having a Director in place is critical because the agency will not gain the full measure of its authority to protect consumers until a Director is in place.  Under the guise of “accountability”, these Republican senators are allowing abuses in the consumer finance marketplace (from abusive payday lenders, check cashers, and others) to continue unsupervised.  As a result, American families and servicemembers and their families continue to be unprotected from the unsavory and unscrupulous practices of abusive consumer finance outlets.  When it comes to accountability, these senators are clearly accountable to the financial industry, and not to American families and servicemembers and their families. 
  • May 4 and May 24, 2011/Delaying Reform on Speculation and Derivatives:  House Republicans are now moving a plan (H.R.1573) to delay, by 18 months, implementation of stronger CFTC rules to prevent speculation in commodities, including crude oil, gasoline, and heating oil and to prevent the reckless use of derivatives, complex financial products which contributed to the downfall of AIG and fueled the liquidity crisis for many of the nation's largest financial institutions in 2008.
  • June 16, 2011/Agriculture Appropriations:  Slashes the CFTC, the agency charged with policing price speculation in commodities, futures, and derivatives markets and implementing common-sense Wall Street reforms to prevent another financial crisis, by 44 percent below the President's request. 
  • July 7, 2011/Financial Service Appropriations:  House Republicans reported out a Financial Services Appropriations bill (H.R. 2434) that in effect slashes both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the key agencies to protect consumers, investigate potential misconduct, and police the securities markets to prevent another financial crisis.