Vote “NO” on Omnibus CR Unless Wall Street’s Holiday Gift is Removed

Media 12.10.14

Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives

View the PDF of this letter here.

Dear Representative:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our opposition to H.R. 83, the continuing resolution omnibus for FY 2015. As currently written, it includes language rolling back a key provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “push-out rule”) that prevents taxpayer-insured banks from making highly risky trades in derivatives markets. Unless this language is removed, we urge you to vote against H.R. 83.

Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, bank holding companies must segregate, and independently fund, their riskiest and most exotic derivatives trading so that taxpayers do not need to fear being left on the hook for bets that go drastically wrong and threaten entire institutions. This kind of activity was one of the key causes of the 2008 financial crisis and the economic stagnation that we have experienced for years since then. Under the threat of a government shutdown, proponents of H.R. 83 would undo this significant part of the law.

The civil and human rights community does not want to see another Great Recession where working people, women, and communities of color bear the brunt of the crisis, caused largely by Wall Street playing fast and loose with other people’s money. Only six years later, some in Congress already seem to have forgotten the lessons we learned. It is one thing for a company to use its own funds to take risks on exotic financial investments. But it is another thing altogether when that same company knows it will be protected against catastrophic losses by the federal government.

We should be working together to promote safe, mainstream banking in all communities, not undermining the public’s trust even more. Unless this provision is removed, we urge you to vote “no” on H.R. 83.

Thank you for your consideration of our views. If you have any questions, please contact either of us or Senior Counsel Rob Randhava at (202) 466-6058.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President