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Kirk votes no on Obama Wall Street reform bill



The House on Wednesday passed on a 237-192 mainly party line roll call President Obama's Wall Street reform bill. On Tuesday, I asked Illinois GOP Senate nominee Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) his position on the bill and he said he needed to study the final wording of the measure. On Wednesday, Kirk joined other Republicans in voting no.

Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias would have voted yes on the bill, his spokesman, Kathleen Strand, said.

"Yes. Hands Down. Mark Kirk voted against Wall Street reform once again showing he is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate special interests," Strand said.

"After Broadway Bank's $394 million bailout from the FDIC, it's no wonder Alexi Giannoulias supports legislation that opens the door to endless government bailouts," said Kirk spokesman Kirsten Kukowski.

The bill now faces an uncertain future in the Senate, hobbled with the loss of a vote with the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

The vote

234 Democrats
3 Republicans

19 Democrats
173 Republicans

below, release from Kirk....

Kirk Statement on Financial Regulation Bill

WASHINGTON--U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today voted against the 2,319-page financial regulation bill (H.R. 4173), which helps large Wall Street firms but fails to reform the very institutions that helped trigger the Great Recession. The legislation was backed by big Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs and opposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of small businesses and employers. Nineteen Democrats opposed the bill while only three Republicans supported it.

The legislation does not address the core causes of the financial crisis, reduces credit for Illinois small businesses, increases our national debt and hurts job growth. This bill will reduce lending at the nation's smaller banks, including community banks and credit unions, and result in fewer financial products such as debit cards.

"I support bipartisan, common-sense financial regulations, but we should not do so at the expense of jobs or cutting loans for small businesses," Congressman Kirk said. "Rep. Barney Frank's 2,319-page financial regulation bill failed to address any major reforms for two institutions responsible for a significant part of the Great Recession--Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After receiving a nearly $150 billion taxpayer bailout, Fannie and Freddie still lack an independent inspector general. In 2005, I supported the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act and efforts that would have helped rein in the irresponsible practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that helped cause the Great Recession. Without addressing reforms of the very institutions that helped trigger this recession, we are no safer from the next economic crisis.

"Additionally, the legislation is funded by a budget gimmick that broke Congress broke its promise to use $11 billion in repayments of TARP bailout funds to reduce our out-of-control debt. TARP bailout repayments should reduce our debt, not hide an acceleration of spending for new federal bureaucracies. Under the bill, we increase federal spending, deepen our debt and create a new bureaucracy that will support banks that are 'too big to fail' at the expense of smaller institutions.

"In a time when credit is tight and small businesses are struggling, Congress is creating new hurdles for banks to loan money. George Mason University Professor Joshua Wright estimates the credit restrictions in the bill will reduce net new jobs by 4.3 percent. According to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the new law could cost as much as $1 trillion in new capital requirements, triggering a nearly Stimulus-sized reduction in loan liquidity that could have been used to help the economy. With Illinois' unemployment rate well above the national average, it is irresponsible to pass legislation that restricts loans to small businesses further."

Below, release from DSCC.....


In Key Wall Street Reform Vote Today, Congressman Kirk Shills for the Big Banks, Ignores Middle Class Illinois Families

Congressman Mark Kirk today continued his long history of standing up for the special interests, big banks and Wall Street and voted against much-needed legislation that would protect Illinois consumers and bring greater transparency to the nation's financial markets.

"Congressman Kirk today voted to protect the Wall Street banks that caused the most significant economic downturn our nation has experienced since the Great Depression," said DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy. "Time after time, Congressman Kirk proves that he backs the Wall Street banks that hurt Illinois small businesses and cost many Illinoisans their jobs and savings. Illinoisans deserve a U.S. Senator who stands up for them, not the special interests."

Wall Street reform legislation provides strong consumer financial protections; brings the risky trading of derivatives, which helped trigger the crisis, into the light of day; provides the authority to wind down firms whose collapse would threaten the entire financial system; and ends taxpayer-funded bailouts.


Once again - the corrupt politicians pass a bill that has little to do with reform. The two largest entities that caused the housing crisis are excluded from any of the "reforms" in this bill. Fanny & Freddie will continue to soak us for billions if not trillions.

The GOP wants to look past any real cause of the crisis. Freddie and Fannie are just convenient whipping boys. Ratings agencies, fraudulent loan processes, unregulated gambling of people's retirement funds, all this had nothing to do with Freddie and Fannie. When so much money is being thrown around Congress is less than functional. The GOP stands for Gold Overflows our Pockets; so we will not fix anything.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 30, 2010 6:15 PM.

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