Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), as Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, last year proposed a strong financial reform package that would rein in many of Wall Street’s riskiest practices, prevent banks from preying on consumers, and set ground rules for the financial industry that would prevent the need for any future bailouts. Significantly, Dodd’s bill would create a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would work to keep unsafe banking products like exploding mortgages and predatory loans out of our communities.
Sen. Dodd recently announced that he will not seek re-election. According to the New York Times (http://bit.ly/6tTwDK), this is bad news and good news:
THE BAD NEWS: This month, the Senate Banking Committee’s bipartisan working groups will be offering alternatives to his original reform proposal – and chances are, they’ll try to water down the consumer protections. If banker-friendly senators hijack the financial industry reform bill, we can say goodbye to real reform.
THE GOOD NEWS (from NYT): “Impending retirement frees [Dodd] from having to woo donors or listen to anyone or anything other than his own best instincts. He is free to criticize and, if need be, condemn the working groups’ proposals — to contrast their proposals with his own and challenge them to explain how anything less than sweeping reform will be enough to protect Americans.”
There’s much to fear in this situation — one Republican financial services lobbyist told Politico (http://bit.ly/68rWV7) that Dodd is now free to “dance with the special interests that brought him to the dance in the first place. Us, his loyal donors in the banking community.”
We need Sen. Dodd to stand up and be a champion for the American public. He should refuse to give in to those acting on Wall Street’s behalf to defeat financial reform. Financial industry failures have already done too much damage to our economy and our communities. We need strong new rules of the road to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Send an email to your senators at http://action.citizen.org/t/6693/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=28074
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