Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 16 Democratic Senators Who Sided with the Banks Today

A move to delay implementation of the part of the Dodd Frank Act which would have capped the amount the big banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions was narrowly defeated today, but no thanks to the Democratic majority.  A surprising 16 Democrats sided with the banking lobby, which cried to Congress that it should be able to charge whatever fees it wants, because that's how the free market is supposed to work.  The unlimited fees charged to merchants would have inevitably raised the prices charged to us, the consumers.  The final tally, crossing party lines, went like this: (60 votes required for passage).

Grouped By Vote PositionYEAs ---54  ---  For the Banks:
Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Carper (D-DE)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
 Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
 Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)

NAYs ---45  --  For the Consumer:
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
 Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lugar (R-IN)
 Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murray (D-WA)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 1  (Lieberman)

It wasn't surprising that my own two Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, essentially thumbed their noses at their constituents.  They are from New York and in the thrall of Wall Street.  Gillibrand, who often pays lip service to a progressive agenda and manages to get herself on TV a lot to promote the latest liberal cause, was the biggest single recipient of campaign contributions from the mega-banks during her first election campaign. (She had been appointed by Gov. David Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton in 2009.)  Were your senators on the list you didn't want them to be on? Were you shocked that your senator voted in your interests for a change?

The Republicans siding against the banks were the biggest surprise, and a pleasant one at that.  Did you ever think Saxby Chambliss would be pro-consumer? 

Hey -- here's an idea.  President Obama can now appoint Elizabeth Warren head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and she can go through a Senate confirmation after all!  The Senate is just a great big happy family, with some Republicans having values and some Democrats having none.  Who would not love to see Chuck the Two-Faced squirm as he has to pretend to be nice to Warren and pro-middle class while stuffing his pockets with Wall Street largesse?

From ProPublica, here is a really detailed explanation of what today's vote was all about.


Janet Camp said...

I love to look through this kind of rundown on the voting and usually have to look it up myself, so thanks for doing the work. Those lousy DINOs. What possible excuse can someone like Baucus (just as an example) have for voting against this (and for the bankers?) I know the reason, but what's the excuse? I'd love to hear the spin on that!

I'll never forgive Howard Dean (whom I once supported ardently) for getting all these DINO's into office. I guess we are supposed to be grateful that they vote with Democrats occasionally and forgive them when the appease their Independent "base" by voting essentially republican when it is "safe" to do so.

Jay - Ottawa said...

I too vote in NY. Schumer has been in Wall Street's pocket forever, but wouldn't you think he and Gillibrand might have split their votes on this one in good-cop/bad-cop ambiguity to keep Democratic voters more or less content? I must conclude that NY's two senators don't represent the consumer, they don't even represent Main Street's merchants. It's bankers all the way no matter what they say between votes.

VLT said...

Thanks for this, Karen.

My two senators from WA Murray and Cantwell did the right thing. I am not happy that they won't join the Progressive Congressional Caucus but at least they voted the right way on this issue. Maria Cantwell introduced a bill with John McCain a while back to reinstate Glass Steagal but I've grown suspicious of anything McCain does - even when it sounds good on the surface. And by association, I have been a little suspicious of Maria Cantwell ever since.

Very pleased to see a few Republicans did the right thing but we really need to work hard to vote these blue dogs out of office. Baucus was his usual scummy self, I see. If anyone deserves the hatchet at election time, it is that guy!

I have always liked what Jay Rockefeller has to say - the few sound bites I have heard over the years. I am wondering if he might be my rich Democrat in shining armour who isn't dazzled by the elites like Clinton and Obama. He seems like one of the few statesmen left in the Congress. Anyone know anything about him?

I would normally do some research on him before making that comment but I have a big stats assignment due and I have to get back to it. – I have procrastinated long enough.

VLT said...

OK – couldn’t resist and did a tiny bit of digging on Jay while eating my lunch and he is looking good - After a privileged upbringing moved to a poor town in West Virginia to start a youth centre - very inspired by the idealism of service to country during JFK’s tenure -wife on the board of PBS - sent his kids to public school (in West Virginia no less)-Seems like one of the rich people with a strong sense of Nobles Oblige and not the condescending version the sincere one. I will continue my digging another day!

No one needs to respond to this - I am just thinking out loud. Got interested when I saw him on the "good list."

Kate Madison said...

Thanks for doing my homework, Karen! And YES, I am amazed that both Schumer and Gillebrand voted for the banks. And Claire McCaskill too! It really is all about the money, is it not?

I am happy to say that the two senators from my state of Oregon, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkeley both voted FOR the people and against the banks. That is no surprise. Both of them are the real deal--senators who practice what they preach almost all of the time. Even my BlueDog congressman, Kurt Shrader is becoming more liberal. He knows he is risking his job, but in the town halls I have attended, he always says that first and foremost he represents his constituents as fairly as he can--but, more importantly, he has to live with himself. He takes no money from PACS, nor does Merkeley. Wyden does take some, but much less than other senators.

I am shocked, shocked, shocked that Saxby Chambliss voted Nay! What's up? I definitely do not get that one. And Lindsey Graham too. Guess they don't get much money from the banksters! Oh my......being cynical is such hard work for a bleeding heart idealist!

Janet Camp said...


Jay Rockefeller is mostly a good guy and owns up to his privilege, but he has his pet industries, like most. I can't recall which group, but will try to research it--but a while back he really surprised me by standing by some pet industry.

I'm from Washington (Seattle and Olympic Peninsula). I'm betting (from some of your spelling) that you're from Canada or Britain. I've always voted for Murray when living at "home", but am not so enthusiastic about Cantwell. She's an odd duck, but although she's often pro-business, she did come through on this one.

We may have lost Feingold's pro-people vote on this one, but we have gained an activist. PROGRESSIVES UNITED raised $130k in a few days time to support the recall election candidates here in my adopted home. He's been joining protesters in Madison, where people are setting up a "tent city"--permanent protest camp. I need to get back down there an join in. There is nothing like the feeling of making a difference when you're actually out there marching and soaking up all that solidarity!

Janet Camp said...

@VLT (update)

I looked through J. Rock's Wiki entry and while he has a very interesting background, given his status at birth, he has a checkered history on the whole Iraq/Patriot Act/torture/secrets stuff. I think the incident I was thinking of a while back had something to do with coal (he DOES represent W. Va. after all). He seems to be a solid Democrat, but hardly progressive (although he did support the public option even when Baucus tried to shut him up) and seems to have grown a bit more conservative with age. Please chime in anyone who has better info.

VLT said...

Thanks, Janet! No, I am from Tacoma! We should meet up the next time I am in the U.S. - Christmas 2012! To answer your question - Because I am in Australia, my spell check is Commonwealth.

I did some more of my own digging on Jay and his age alone, born in 1937, would indicate to me that he won't run for the big office. He would have done it by now if he were interested. I guess I can't hold the coal stuff against him; he DOES have to represent his constituency and jobs are in short supply these days. I am not excusing him just understand where he is coming from. As for the creepy Iraq, Patriot Act, torture, secrets stuff - that is BAAAAD! But his stand on the public option is good. Anyway, guess it is a moot point. JR just jumped out at me because not too many ultra rich, connected people give a crap about the working folk in this country.

Agree with you that Patty Murray is a good egg. - Have always wondered if Maria Cantwell has her eye on the big job. She could be worse. I know she fights diligently for small businesses.

I have never understood why small business people tend to be Republican. Seems they would have a lot more in common with the Progressives than the Conservatives. I mean, wouldn't they be greatly helped by either a public option or a single payer health care system? Couldn't believe it when the Bill Gates Sr. income tax (only on millionaires) to help small businesses and schools was defeated in WA State.

Well, on to Karen’s new posting.