House Passes Bill To Aid Koch Brothers, Deregulate Wall Street

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from The Huffington Post,

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a financial deregulation package that would benefit the Koch brothers and the nation’s largest banks by a vote of 265-143.

The legislation would significantly weaken elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law dealing with derivatives — the complex products at the heart of the 2008 meltdown. Many components of the bill approved Tuesday had previously passed the House with bipartisan support. However, Democratic backing had been weakest on the most controversial measure, which allows U.S. firms to skirt domestic regulations on some derivatives by conducting trades through offshore affiliates in other major financial centers.

Republicans were almost uniform in their support, with Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.) the lone GOP holdout. Democratic opposition was broad, with only 46 Democrats voting in support — a marked change from several recent House votes on Wall Street deregulation that have drawn substantial backing from dozens, and in some cases an overwhelming majority, of House Democrats. The White House issued a formal statement last week saying that it “strongly opposes” the legislation that passed Tuesday.

The bill includes several separate deregulatory measures sought by the largest Wall Street banks and the Koch brothers, who control significant financial and energy derivatives operations. Americans for Financial Reform, the premier policy analysis organization among bank watchdogs, advocated strongly against the bill alongside consumer groups and the AFL-CIO.

The Democratic Party has been roiled in recent months by internal divisions over its relationship with Wall Street, with one wing of the party attempting to cozy up to financiers in pursuit of campaign cash and another seeking to rein in banking excess. In Congress, the turmoil has divided even traditionally progressive organizations, including the Congressional Black Caucus. The CBC largely opposed the CFTC bill Tuesday, with only Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) voting for it. Twenty-five members of the corporate-friendly New Democrat Coalition voted for the bill.

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