Credo Action

Tell Congressional Republican leadership: Follow your party platform and reinstate Glass-Steagall.

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Petition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and the Republican leadership in Congress:

"Put your money where your mouth is. Follow the 2016 Republican Party platform and schedule an immediate vote on the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, co-sponsored by Sens. John McCain and Elizabeth Warren."

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    Tell Congressional Republican leadership: Follow your party platform and reinstate Glass-Steagall.

    In a shocking move last week, Republicans added a plank to their platform calling for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall divide between investment and commercial banking.1

    For decades, the original Glass-Steagall Act separated general banking – like savings deposits and small business loans – from the kind of high-risk speculative trading done by investment banks that crashed the economy. But ever since banks started chipping away at the law and eventually repealed it in the 1990’s, we’ve seen a resurgence of risky gambles and financial crashes from banks that hold Americans’ savings.2

    The truth is that Congressional Republican leaders are trying to have it both ways – talking tough, without walking the walk. Congressional Republicans try to blame President Obama for the continued existence of too-big-to-fail banks, while pushing legislation that would give free rein to the fraudsters who crashed our economy.3 Let’s demand that Republican leadership in Congress follow their platform and schedule an immediate vote on the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.

    Tell Republican leaders in Congress: Follow your party platform and reinstate Glass-Steagall.

    The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and John McCain, is a modern, updated version of the old law, designed to tackle the complexities of modern banking. Glass-Steagall is fundamentally about setting tough, clear rules and forcing Wall Street to work for Main Street, not the other way around. It would declare that Wall Street mega-banks can engage in high-risk trading all they want – but not if they also take out federally insured deposits.4

    This law is needed today more than ever before. The biggest banks continue to balloon in size and control huge portions of our economy.5 Risky trading continues, with high-frequency computer-driven trading adding new risks.6 And nearly five years after Congress passed Wall Street reform, the Federal Reserve continues to delay implementing even a watered-down version the Volcker Rule, a ban on using federally insured funds for risky trades that is considered “Glass-Steagall light.”7,8

    Republicans are trying to have it both ways. Despite the platform plank, the Trump campaign said it was “not taking a position” on Glass-Steagall.9 The party platform supports reinstating Glass-Steagall, even as it calls for dismantling the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.10 We need to force Republicans to put their money where their mouth is by scheduling a vote to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

    Under Glass-Steagall, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation would insure the money everyday Americans deposited in banks – ensuring middle class economic stability and preventing bank runs – but any bank that took deposits could not engage in risky trades and speculative gambles.11 It worked for decades. But as Sen. Warren describes, “That high wall between high-risk trading and boring banking was punched full of holes until, in the late 1990s, it was knocked down when Glass-Steagall was eventually repealed. And not long after that, the worst crash since the 1930s hit the American economy.”12

    Tell Republican leaders in Congress: Follow your party platform and reinstate Glass-Steagall.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Michelle Fox, “Trump campaign still weighing Glass-Steagall,” CNBC, May 20, 2016.
    2. Kevin Cirilli, “Warren, McCain introduce bill to bring back Glass-Steagall,” The Hill, July 7, 2015.

    3. Donna Borak and Andrew Ackerman, “GOP’s Jeb Hensarling Takes Aim at Dodd-Frank, Volcker Rule,” The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2016.

    4. Cirilli, “Warren, McCain introduce bill to bring back Glass-Steagall.”
    5. Jeff Cox, “Too big to fail banks just keep getting bigger,” CNBC.com, March 5, 2015.
    6. Nick Baumann, “Too Fast to Fail: Is High-Speed Trading the Next Wall Street Disaster?” Mother Jones, January 2013.
    7. Wallace Turbeville, “What is the Volcker Rule?” Demos, December 9, 2013.
    8. Federal Reserve Board of Governors, “Press Release Dated July 7, 2016,” FederalReserve.gov, July 7, 2016.
    9. Fox, “Trump campaign still weighing Glass-Steagall.”
    10. Jon Marino, “Glass-Steagall: Wall Street is not happy with Donald Trump,” CNBC, July 19, 2016.
    11. The Roosevelt Institute, “Looking Back at the Repeal of Glass-Steagall, or, How the Banks Caught Casino Fever,” RooseveltInstitute.org, retrieved July 19, 2015.
    12. Cirilli, “Warren calls for return of Glass-Steagall.”