Harry Reid and the old guard Democrats who want to be sure they have the filibuster for use the next time they are in the minority, made a crappy deal with the Republicans in which they promised not to do real filibuster reform if the Republicans stopped abusing the filibuster at every opportunity.
Guess what’s happened? Well, the Republicans have, once again, declared they will filibuster any nominee to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Congress first guts the CFPB’s ability to do any real good.
Supporting the CFPB should be a no-brainer. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is meant to give us consumers a way to fight back against unexplained charges, unfair rate increases, and a host of other abuses by the banking industry that cost consumers millions of dollars, every year.
In the past thirty years, banks have run wild and besides having to be bailed out time and time again, have nearly bankrupted the country, have tanked the housing market, and now sit on the side lines hoping that by delaying a recovery, they’ll force law makers to bow down to them. The banks keep telling us they are too big to fail and have to be bailed out, but if we, the taxpayers who have rescued them, ask for some reforms in return … well, how dare we!
The CFPB was a good first step towards some kind of real reform. The agency, which was championed by Elizabeth Warren, was supposed to help prevent the kind of banking abuses which have buried hard working people in debt. I fully operational CFPB might even do something about the ruinous interest rates that used to be controlled by usury laws. We get paid less than 1% on our savings, but have to pay up to 30% for consumer loans? I even saw an add on TV for a loan with an interest rate of 87%. It was marketed as a way for someone to improve their credit.
Apparently, losing so many elections wasn’t enough to convince the Republican party that they are badly outnumbered by people who live in a world with mortgages, not enough jobs, and too much credit card debt.
So now, we need Harry Reid to demonstrate to the Republicans that there are consequences for bad behavior. He needs to push through real filibuster reform. It’s time he used the Democratic majority to get something done that makes a real difference.
If you feel like I do, make sure your law makers knew about it, especially your Senators. Tell them it’s time to start acting like a real deliberative body. They need to fix the rules which allow the minority to grind all activity to a halt and then they need to learn how to work together to do what needs to be done.