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Daily Action: Convince Red-State Dems Not To Gut Banking Protections

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000

Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Senator ___________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to urge the senator to engage with her fellow Democrats in red states, and convince them not to weaken the Dodd-Frank reforms put into place following the 2008 financial crash. We need those protections to prevent even the midsize banks from engaging in the types of dangerous lending and speculation that brought the economy to its knees. The American people -- even the people of Montana and North Dakota and Virginia -- are not clamoring for banks to be given the freedom to behave recklessly again, so we hope the senator will help her colleagues put their country before their reelection concerns. Thank you!

This week, instead of dealing with gun violence or Trump's Monday deadline for Congress to write DACA into law, Senate Republicans are turning to another item on their far-right hit list: the Dodd-Frank banking reforms instituted in 2010 following the global financial crash. Alarmingly, they are getting an assist from a number of Democrats worried about their reelection prospects this November; Senators Jon Tester (MT), Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (IN) helped them write their bill, and even Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are supporting it. In fact, enough moderate Democrats currently support the bill to allow it to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold and pass the Senate.

The Dodd-Frank law, while not perfect, created new restrictions on home lending, bundling of bad loans, and the derivatives and other risky financial instruments that brought on the banking system's near-collapse and bailout in 2008. House Republicans already have passed a bill that would gut the Dodd-Frank protections even more than their Senate counterparts want to. The Senate bill focuses on providing exemptions from heightened scrutiny for about two dozen financial companies with assets of between $50 billion and $250 billion. Supporters say the bill would provide relief to midsize and regional banks that shouldn't be treated like their larger Wall Street counterparts; opponents argue that the banks in question (including BB&T and SunTrust, among others), are too big to be placed in the same category with small credit unions and community banks.