Illinois PIRG Condemns Backdoor, Backroom “Cromnibus” Proposals to gut Wall Street and Campaign Finance Reforms

Media Releases

Calls on Illinois Congressional Delegation to Reject Cromnibus that Includes Provisions Written By Citibank Allowing Risky Swaps To Be Bailed Out and Allowing Megadonors to Give Over $200,000 to National Party per Election Cycle

Illinois PIRG

CHICAGO – As Congress considers the “Cromnibus,” Illinois PIRG decried two special interest provisions snuck into the bill and called on the Illinois Congressional Delegation to reject any bill that includes those provisions.

Statement of Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr opposing omnibus appropriations rider to repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Section 716, “Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailouts of Swaps Entities”:

We condemn this backdoor, backroom budgetary effort to repeal the Wall Street reform law’s protections for taxpayers and Main Street from the riskiest derivatives swaps that led directly to the 2008 financial collapse, a taxpayer bailout for banks and a recession for everyone else. Wall Street should not be allowed to return to betting and gambling using insured deposits and other taxpayer subsidies and guarantees. Five years ago, Wall Street’s unregulated casino economy ended badly when millions lost homes, millions lost jobs and millions more lost trillions in retirement savings.

In 2009, Senator Durbin famously said that the banks “frankly own the place.” If this budget rider, which according to the New York Times was largely written by Citibank, is allowed to pass, they still do.

Statement of Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr opposing omnibus provisions to raise contribution limits to political parties:

In the midterms a month ago, we all saw yet another reminder of the dominance of big money in our elections. Yet, instead of advancing common-sense solutions to raise the voices of small donors, set reasonable limits on big money, and ensure that the public knows where campaign money comes from, Congress is now poised to approve changes to campaign finance laws that would give megadonors an even louder voice. Most Americans find it hard to afford giving even one or two hundred dollars to candidates and causes they believe in, but these revisions would allow big donors to give over $200,000 a year to party committees.

Large donations already play too big a role in our elections. This wrong-headed change would move us even further in the wrong direction. We urge the Illinois Congressional Delegation to reject this bad deal, and instead work to pass solutions like the Government by the People Act and the Democracy for All Amendment.