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In case anyone wonders why Senator Durbin's cramdown amendment is getting crammed, today, the Senator himself explained it, Monday night. As reported by Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post:

"And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place," he said on WJJG 1530 AM's "Mornings with Ray Hanania." Progress Illinois picked up the quote.

Earlier Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told the Huffington Post that the most important provision of bankruptcy reform -- the authority for a bankruptcy judge to renegotiate mortgages, known as cramdown, which banks strongly oppose -- could get ripped out of the bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed back, saying that a bill without such a provision wouldn't be reform at all.

While Durbin has been negotiating with individual banks over the last several weeks, bank lobbyists and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) have been whipping up opposition to it. A growing number of Democrats have announced opposition to cramdown, including Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Jon Tester (Mont.).

Every homeowner who is facing foreclosure in Nebraska, Louisiana, or Montana ought to be on notice. Their senators are not working to protect their homes. They're working for the banks.

Glenn Greenwald:

The blunt acknowledgment that the same banks that caused the financial crisis "own" the U.S. Congress -- according to one of that institution's most powerful members -- demonstrates just how extreme this institutional corruption is.

The ownership of the federal government by banks and other large corporations is effectuated in literally countless ways, none more effective than the endless and increasingly sleazy overlap between government and corporate officials.

In case you had any questions about why trillions of your tax dollars are going into the pockets of the people most responsible for this economic nightmare, now you know. One of the most powerful senators just explained it. Government of, by, and for the banks.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 09:25 AM PDT.

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