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"An assault on our financial security. An assault on our democracy" Fair Share critizes riders to budget bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fair Share, a national grassroots advocacy group, today spoke out against riders to the congressional spending bill as “outrageous assaults on the financial security of American families and the integrity of our democracy.”

One rider would reverse crucial reforms in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, ultimately endangering taxpayers who would get stuck with the bailout if and when banks fail. Another could allow wealthy individuals to give as much as $1.5 million to a political party during a two-year election cycle – a 10-fold increase over current limits that Fair Share said are already “absurdly weak.”

“These riders constitute outrageous assaults on the financial security of American families and the integrity of our democracy,” said Meredith Small, Fair Share program director. “Budgets are never perfect, but this is a raw deal for the average American family. These riders have nothing to do with funding government. We call on Congress to remove these riders.”

Under the bill, banks would be permitted to continue gambling in the derivatives market under the banner of taxpayer-insured Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) banks. Derivatives, including a specific type referred to as “swaps,” are highly risky investments that contributed to the 2008 economic meltdown, which in turn pushed the nation into recession.

According to an analysis by Public Citizen, the rider authorizing increased donations to political parties would, depending how the Federal Election Commission interprets this change, allow an individual donor to give $777,600 per year to a national party or $1,555,200 per election cycle. A couple could give $3,110,400 to a national party in a two-year election cycle.

“The American people want Congress to address real problems,” Small said. “Allowing more big money to flood our elections is not what we had in mind. Congress should be beyond embarrassed. Congress should be ashamed.”


For more information, contact David Elliot 202-607-7036.