Congress Exposed! Which Members Are Owned By The Banksters?
Early this morning we started the conversation about how pathetic it is that Harry Reid can't pass any legislation to protect consumers from predatory banksters. Obama was good on TV today denouncing the sleazy speculators who forced Chrysler into bankruptcy but someone has to get putative Democratic senators to remember that they work for their constituents, not their campaign donors. Before we get into the cramdown foreclosure catastrophe that went down in the Senate today, let's take a look at the votes in the House on Carolyn Maloney's Credit Card Bill of Rights. In the end, it passed 357-70, 105 Republicans joining every Democrat but South Dakota bribe-taking Blue Dog Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (who was also the only Democrat to vote "no" last year). On the Republican side, only the worst of the obstructionists and briber takers voted against the bill, 70 of them. The dozen ring-leaders who worked the hardest to sabotage the bill and would rather see Americans screwed by unscrupulous credit card companies than save their own constituents from predators are all owned lock, stock and barrel by the banksters:
Spencer Bachus (R-AL- $3,789,474)
Eric Cantor (R-VA- $3,121,188)
John Boehner (R-OH- $3,045,809)
Pete Sessions (R-TX- $2,730,126
David Dreier (R-CA- $2,118,538)
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX- $2,111,371)
Ron Paul (R-TX- $1,686,375)
Paul Ryan (R-WI- $1,555,321)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX- $1,253,775)
Scott Garrett (R-NJ- $1,156,599)
Tom Price (R-TX- $901,849)
Gresham Barrett (R-SC- $786,873)
Yes, the amounts in parenthesis are the legalized bribes each of these members has taken from the banksters directly (not counting lobbying). Earlier there was an attempt to kill the bill (a motion to recommit) by the Republicans and it failed 164-263, only 16 Republicans voting with the Democrats-- and 5 Chamber of Commerce Democrats voting with the GOP.
Tom Perriello (D-VA) explained why this was such an important vote for him and his constituents in central and southern Virginia: “The movement for accountability scored a victory today against the tricks, traps and usurious greed in the credit card industry. If they can't sell the product without using traps, that's a good time for consumer protection. This bill and my amendment put in place commonsense regulations that will protect all consumers, but especially college students who are disproportionately targeted.”
If-- and this is a BIG if-- the bill passes the Senate, it would ban retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances (except when payments are more than 30 days late), ban double-cycle billing, and ban due-date gimmicks. Specifically, it protects cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases, and empowers them to set limits on their credit and requires card companies to fairly credit and allocate payments. It also prohibits charging fees just to pay a bill by phone, charging over-the-limit fees unless a consumer opts-in in advance or issuing credits cards to minors.
Good job, Nancy Pelosi and her team for getting this through with flying colors. Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter. As Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) explained yesterday, too many senators are so beholden to the banksters that they will never make a move against them-- not even if millions of their constituents are starving and homeless. The Democrats' poor excuse for a leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) moaned and groaned about the de facto "Republican filibuster," but it was a handful of his own reactionary and bribe-besotted members who killed the bill that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to intervene with intransigent banksters and keep families in their homes. It seems beyond belief to me that any Democrat would vote against this, except, of course, a fake Democrat like Arlen Specter, who so far is still voting with his right-wing colleagues on the other side of the aisle. But Specter was hardly the only Democrat on that side of the aisle for this vote (just the one who's taken the most bribes from the banksters: $5,753,310-- which failed 45-51.
Of course every single Republican voted against consumers and for their bankster buddies. The Democrats who joined them were a motley array of anti-family conservatives (in order of corruptness):
Max Baucus (MT- $4,633,243)
Tim Johnson (SD- $3,020,966)
Ben Nelson (NE- $2,667,406)
Mary Landrieu (LA- $2,399,134)
Tom Carper (DE- $2,160,628)
Blanche Lincoln (WalMart- $1,671,292)
Mark Pryor (AR- $1,321,948)
Byron Dorgan (ND- $1,102,184)
Jon Tester (MT- $473,226)
Robert Byrd (WV- $420,830)
Michael Bennet, the appointed one-term Colorado reactionary who belongs on the other side of the chamber.
Dick Durbin lectures his corrupt, shameless colleagues: "At some point, the senators in this chamber will decide the bankers shouldn't write the agenda for the United States Senate. At some point the people in this chamber will decide the people we represent are not the folks working in the big banks but the folks working to make a living and struggling to keep a decent home." Watch: