VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Opposed Legislation that Rolls Back Wall Street Regulations
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today spoke on the House floor opposing legislation (H.R. 4296) that would roll back financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis by reducing capital requirements for the nation’s biggest banks. These requirements were put in place to ensure big banks had the capital to absorb their own financial losses, rather than depending on taxpayers to bail them out. This legislation passed by a vote of 245-169.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said:
“We can't forget that only 10 years ago, millions of hardworking families watched their life savings get entirely wiped out. They lost their homes and couldn't afford to send their kids to college. All of this heartache, pain, and suffering was a direct result of risky, predatory lending practices and too-big-too-fail banks that did not have sufficient capital to support and absorb their financial losses.
“In the aftermath of the financial disaster of 2008, Congress passed protections to prevent this from happening again. Today, these big banks believe we should simply forget their past mistakes and instead, only evaluate their current activities to determine certain capital requirements. The families who suffered most in 2008 have not simply forgotten about what they went through and how they are still struggling to recover.
“By ignoring critical indicators of past activities, H.R. 4296 would allow big banks – like Wells Fargo who defrauded the American people just within the last several months by opening millions of fake accounts – get away with a slap on the wrist, and set the American people up to take the fall for their actions.
“Supporters of this bill claim that current capital requirements stifle lending and hurt our banks and the economy, but the facts say otherwise. In 2016, bank profits reached an all-time high, and today, business lending is up 75 percent since 2010. Meanwhile, our country's banks added more than $700 billion in capital to absorb potential losses and protect Americans and our economy from another financial disaster. Higher capital requirements don't restrict lending; they simply ensure big banks – that are even bigger today than they were in 2008 – can absorb their losses without depending on taxpayers for a bailout.
“The American people deserve a financial system that works for them and their families – not one that bets against them to boost Wall Street profits. We need to pass legislation that increases capital requirements of banks with assets greater than $50 billion and continue to enact and strengthen reforms that will protect our economy and American families from another massive collapse. That’s why I’m strongly urging our colleagues to reject this dangerous bill and instead, work together towards efforts to build a financial system that serves the American people, not special interests or Wall Street banks.”
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long-supported true financial reform, including a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, breaking up too-big-to-fail banks, and increased capital requirements for the nation’s largest banks. She supports legislation like the Return to Prudent Banking Act, which would reinstate provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act to keep investment banking separate from commercial banking, as well as preventing too-big-to-fail banks from engaging in speculative trading.
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