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ICYMI: Democrats Stand United Against the Wrong Choice Act

Washington, DC, June 13, 2017

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 10, also known as the Wrong Choice Act, a bill that prioritizes Wall Street over Main Street. While debating on the House floor, Democrats highlighted all the ways in which the Wrong Choice Act would be the wrong choice for consumers, investors, and the entire economy. Democrats also noted the thousands of individuals and groups that oppose the Wrong Choice Act:

“The gentleman asked who does not support [the Wrong Choice Act] - let me tell him: advocates, experts, civil rights groups, labor groups, veterans groups, pension plans, and company shareholders,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services. “We have also received a petition urging a ‘no’ vote from more than 220,000 concerned Americans. And let me just say, AARP hates this bill. That’s who opposes this bill.”

The Wrong Choice Act dismantles critical safeguards included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), the law that was put in place to protect the American economy from another financial crisis. Dodd-Frank improves accountability in the financial system and protects consumers, investors, and the economy from abusive Wall Street practices. Just yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report with recommendations that mirror much of the Wrong Choice Act.

Ultimately, the nearly 600-page bill passed 233 to 186, with not one single Democrat voting in favor of the bill. During the House floor debate, Democratic Members set the record straight and highlighted the many problems with Wrong Choice Act: `

“I urge my colleagues to make the choice to reject this dastardly Wall-Street-first bill and to vote in support of our men and women in uniform, our seniors who have built our country, in support of those hardworking Americans who are saving for their children’s education, hoping to achieve the American dream of homeownership, and who don’t want to be preyed upon by the Republicans in Congress.”

- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

“Keeping our eyes shut cost millions and millions and millions of people their jobs, their homes, and their security. Let us not return to the time of taking the referee off the field. [The Wrong Choice Act] does that. It is a dangerous piece of legislation.”

- House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

“The Wrong Choice Act would turn Wall Street into the Wild West again and it will empower big banks to do what they want at the expense of honest, hardworking families.”

- Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communication Committee

“In 2008, Main Street small businesses were victims of reckless gambles by corporate bad actors and lax government oversight. My [Republican] colleagues seem to suffer from a case of policy-making amnesia… Let’s be clear, if you vote ‘Yes,’ you’re voting to restore the same conditions that fueled the crisis and collapse of 2008.”

- Rep. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee

“[The Wrong Choice Act] undermines key policy priorities impacting student loans and retirement savings. We should stand up for students and retirees and reject this bill.”

- Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under [the Wrong Choice Act] would be barred from going to bat for those people being taken advantage of. This makes no sense.”

- Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), Vice Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee

“No proponent of [the Wrong Choice Act] can look the American people in the face and tell them that this is better for consumers, because it’s not.”

- Rep. Wm Lacy Clay (D-MO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit

“[The Wrong Choice Act] is a bad bill. I suspect the Republicans are pushing it through because they want to push it past the beleaguered public who lost trillions of dollars of wealth in home value during the last recession.”

- Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade

“[The Wrong Choice Act] is a setback because it allows the American public to be subject to rip-offs… it is indeed the wrong choice.”

- Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

“It’s [the Wrong Choice] because this takes us back to a time where we were losing 800,000 jobs a month…it brings back no discipline.”

- Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance

“The bill before us today is an affront to the American people… it would set America up for more severe financial crises in the future. It’s plain and simply the Wrong Choice.”

- Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Financial Services Committee Member

“This highly partisan bill takes us down the wrong highway. It’s a highway to a bill that will go nowhere in the Senate, and then we’ll resume our efforts to improve financial regulation in this country.”

- Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Financial Services Committee Member

“It’s about the concept: Main Street vs. Wall Street. I’m not opposed to Wall Street but if you make me make choose, I’m with Main Street.”

- Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Financial Services Committee Member

“This is the worst single piece of legislation that I have seen in my time here in Congress and I’ve been here a while… [The Wrong Choice Act] destroys the work that we did to secure the banks after the Financial Crisis of 2008.”

- Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Financial Services Committee Member

“This bill is a dangerous bill to our economy. Let me tell you why: it takes away all of our consumer protections… Wake up, America. I’ve talked with our Senators and they have assured me that this bill is dead on arrival in the Senate.”

- Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Financial Services Committee Member

“Why do we have the Wrong Choice Act before us today? Because they want the money. Not the $12 billion that went back to the $29 million veterans, farmers, students, citizens, and people who need that kind of help for their families. They want that money going back to the big financial interests. That is the purpose of the Wrong Choice Act.”

- Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Financial Services Committee Member

“When I look at the [Wrong Choice Act] that Republicans are about to ram through on a party-line vote… I see all the same forces of mindless deregulation, an over-riding mania for tax cuts for the rich, while stripping protections from ordinary American families, the same refusal to learn the lessons of financial history, and to replace them with alternative facts that fit their ideology.”

- Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Financial Services Committee Member

“We’re pursuing a misguided, time-consuming, wasteful, repeal effort. I urge my Republican colleagues to work with Democrats on bipartisan reforms to Dodd-Frank.”

- Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Financial Services Committee Member

“[The Wrong CHOICE Act] guts the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—an agency that was developed to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.”

- Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Financial Services Committee Member

“Just like healthcare, [The Wrong Choice Act] takes the approach that the best way to proceed is with the most extreme bill possible. A bill that attracts no Democrats and even makes moderate Republicans deeply uncomfortable.”

- Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), Financial Services Committee Member

“One of the best measures of a nation is how it cares for its elderly. As a country, we made a promise to our elderly, to protect them and ensure they’d have reliable access to resources and the support they need to live a dignified life in their later years… Today, my colleagues in support of the Wrong Choice Act seek to renege on this promise and leave millions of elderly Americans vulnerable to financial exploitation schemes.”

- Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Financial Services Committee Member

“With [The Wrong Choice Act], members are being asked again to trust the very people who brought us to a financial crisis.”

- Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Financial Services Committee Member

“[The Wrong Choice Act] is nothing more than a misguided attempt to return to the days where bad actors could put the entire financial system at risk.”

- Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Financial Services Committee Member


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