"This bill takes all of the worst lessons of the financial crisis and institutionalizes them for all time."—Bill Wilson, President of ALG.
May 18th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today urged Senate Republicans to filibuster the Dodd financial takeover bill, saying, "once enacted, this legislation will be very difficult to undo. The only option left for Senators is to just say no."
"The Dodd bill will take over the nation's entire financial sector, institutionalize bailouts for all time, monitor individual finances, and levy unlimited assessments on the American people, all without any votes in Congress nor any recourse to federal courts once company assets are seized," Wilson declared.
"Only Senate Republicans can stop this legislation before it is too late and it cannot be undone," Wilson warned, adding, "Harry Reid and Chris Dodd, with this financial takeover, have turned the Senate from the 'cooling saucer' into the boiling kettle pot. In just one short month, the so-called 'most deliberative body' has considered and will now be voting on the unbridled expansion of federal power to intervene in the economy as never before."
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on the legislation, with a vote expected Wednesday, according to the Washington Post.
Wilson said that his core objections to the bill have not been addressed, including reining in what he called an "unlimited authority to bail out or outright seize companies deemed 'too risky'." He also objected to the establishment of an Office of Financial Research (OFR) which he said "would be empowered to gather information on every financial transaction, large and small, in the entire country."
ALG has published two summaries on the legislation, the first detailing the bailout and government takeover powers in the bill, and the second outlining the threat posed to individual privacy through the OFR.
Wilson said the legislation "started out in exactly the wrong place. The Dodd bill does not address the root, government causes of the financial crisis that blew up the housing bubble in the first place," Wilson added, pointing to the failure of the legislation to address Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Reinvestment Act regulations.
"Government policies weakened underwriting standards, lowered down payments on mortgages, and forced banks to give loans to lower-income Americans while simultaneously providing the capital via low-interest loans, which flooded the system and created a housing boom," Wilson explained.
Wilson said the bill "is as much about deflecting blame away from government for its role in the crisis as it is an egregious power grab. Now, government says it just needs more of our private, financial information to monitor 'systemic risk' when it did not act on the clear evidence that was widely available at the time demonstrating its own policies were fueling the housing bubble," Wilson said.
"The government also argues that it needs a more rapid 'resolution' authority when the bailouts to date have only perpetuated the doctrine of 'too big to fail,'" Wilson added, concluding, "This bill takes all of the worst lessons of the financial crisis and institutionalizes them for all time, and only Senate Republicans can stop it."
"'Down a Rabbit Hole:' The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to the Private Sector," April 30th, 2010, Americans for Limited Government.
"Big Brother is Watching You: The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to Privacy," May 5th, 2010.
Letter to the U.S. Senate, ALG President Bill Wilson, April 26th, 2010.