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Please begin with an informative title:

On a vote to buck the Banksters and help out everybody except our financial wizards, the Senate passed the Dick Durbin Amendment to reform Debit fees with a whopping 64 votes. In even more unlikely anti bankster behavior, 17 GOP Senators voted FOR the bill.

    As of the typing of this article, hell has yet to begun to freeze.

The final vote tally was 64-33.

More below the fold.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Voting in favor: 46 Democrats, 17 Republicans and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders [I, VT].

Voting against: 9 Democrats, 23 Republicans and Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT].

   Good ole Joey Lieberman. He's with us on everything but the war and Barack Obama.

    But this is a great win that will benefit everyone who isn't a MegaBank or n executive or a servant of them, and a win for everyone else, but, as always, politics make strange bedfellows.

    Even Sen. Lincoln (d-AR) and Sen. Specter (d-PA) voted for this Amendment, proving that Primaries Matter!

Here are the ten Nay votes from the Democratic Senate Caucus. Real troopers, they are.

Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]       Nay
Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT]     Nay
Sen. Evan Bayh [D, IN]       Nay
Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE]     Nay
Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD]     Nay
Sen. Edward Kaufman [D, DE]     Nay
Sen. Claire McCaskill [D, MO]     Nay
Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT]     Nay
Sen. Mark Warner [D, VA]        Nay
Sen. Joe Lieberman [I, CT}      Nay

     All of them voted with the banksters and their lobbyist army. Carper and Johnson are from states that are dominated by the Credit Card industry, which might explain Sen. Kaufman's vote as well. But each and every Nay vote on this Amendment was a vote made in servitude to the Big Banks that partially or wholly own these Senators, and that goes for Democrats, Republicans, and soon to be GOP candidate Joe Lieberman.

    As for the big surprise, though, there are the 17 GOP Senators who vote Aye and cast votes in favor of the Durbin Amendment.

Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]       Aye
Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA]     Aye
Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]     Aye
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]     Aye
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]     Aye
Sen. Michael Crapo [R, ID]     Aye
Sen. John Ensign [R, NV]     Aye
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]     Aye
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]     Aye
Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]     Aye
Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]     Aye
Sen. George LeMieux [R, FL]     Aye
Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]     Aye
Sen. James Risch [R, ID]     Aye
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]     Aye
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]     Aye
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]     Aye
Senators Byrd (D-WV) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) missed the vote, as did Sen. Hutchinson (R-TX)

    Both Maine moderates AND Scott Brown voted Aye, as did Vitter, Isakson, Burr and Grassley who are facing elections this year, but the rest had me puzzled until I remember that politics is often a game of who gets what.

The winning margin was provided by several conservative Republicans. Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, told SunTrust, the largest bank in his state, that this time he planned to vote against the bank and with Coca-Cola  and Home Depot, two other Georgia companies that had lobbied him fiercely.

     “This was really a decision between helping out small business or helping out large banks,” said John Emling, a lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “No one wanted to pick between friends and they had friends on both sides, but because of the momentum, we just felt that if Durbin pushed folks to the vote we would win.”


Bold text added by the diarist
    It turns out, this bill is great for small businesses AND other industries and retailers that are not Too Big To Fail sized.
   The amendment to the Senate’s sweeping financial legislation could save billions of dollars for family restaurants and dry cleaners, Wal-Mart  and Amazon.com, and every other business whose customers increasingly pay with debit cards. It does not address credit card fees directly.


   Still, good news, right? I mean, who cares if Walmart and Home Depot get some too. I am getting something to, so, great. I guess, sausage is food, even policy sausage.
It does not address credit card fees directly.


   Oh, well, um . . .
   The Durbin amendment gives the Federal Reserve new authority to regulate and limit the fees that businesses pay to card companies,. It specifically addresses payments processed through the Visa and MasterCard networks. American Express and Discover cards are not covered by the bill.


Bold text added by the diarist
   Great, let's give more power to the unaccountable Federal reserve instead of the Democratically elected Legislative or Executive branch, that piece just got stuck between my teeth.

    But all in all, this is still a win.

Unlike credit-card transactions, debit transactions involve no risk for card companies since the money is being drawn directly from bank accounts. But it is an anti-competitive market dominated by a single company — Visa — so there is no incentive for the fees to be lowered. This is why giving the Fed authority to make sure the fees are “reasonable” could have a big impact.

The amendment would also ban debit card companies from creating contracts with merchants that prevent them from giving discounts to consumers who use other forms of payment, like cash or check.


   Now, this isn't a done deal yet, this still has to pass through the Senate and then be reconciled with the House version of this bill which does not include anything like Durbin's Amendment. Worse, the banks were caught off guard by this vote, because frankly no one in their right minds expected it to pass, but Progressives have been lining up win after win on these Amendments to the Finance Reform that the GOP felt the momentum was on the Dems side so they just voted with their less than Too Big To Fail constituents, even if they are Walmart and Home Depot. Either way, the next time this Amendment comes up, the banks are going to be more prepared, and it won't be easy, but for one day, the littler guy got a win.

    So, it is still good. Even a small win like this over the Big Banks, even if it is sausage made with funny bits and some stuff you may not otherwise like, it is still sausage, damnit, and America sausage, and that sure beats eating the banksters shit.

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Crossposted at
The Progressive Electorate.com

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Sat May 15, 2010 at 02:37 PM PDT.


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