Saturday, July 23, 2011

There's More Than One Representative Ryan In Congress

Congressmen Ryan-- one for the banksters, one for American working families

Wisconsin arch-villain Paul Ryan has become something of a household name this year, as he's worked diligently to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in his new position as Chairman of the House Budget Committee. That Ryan, since being elected in 1998, has taken $2,412,522 in direct "contributions" from Wall Street and Big Insurance, more than any other politician in Wisconsin history, including senators and Members of Congress who were already serving when he was barely out of diapers. In return, he has been a steadfast champion for Big Business, Big Insurance and Wall Street, trampling the legitimate aspirations of his own constituents. He was key to the passage of Bush's TARP bailout and key to the passage of a budget that seeks to end Medicare and severely cut back on Social Security benefits. This week he helped pass legislation that sought to protect consumers from the greed and avarice of criminal banksters, the same criminal banksters who have financed Paul Ryan's political career.

Tim Ryan represents a blue collar district in northeast Ohio which was carried by Gore, Kerry and Obama with over 60% of the vote. Even in the middle of the Great Shellacking last year, Tim's GOP opponent only managed to win 30% of the vote. In a more normal year, like 2008, Tim won with 78%-- and with 80% in 2006. Wall Street and Big Finance hasn't shelled out for him the way they have for Paul Ryan. Not even close. And the statement he made after voting against the GOP's legislation to gut Dodd-Frank and put consumers back into jeopardy explains why the same banksters who love Paul Ryan, feel very differently about Tim Ryan.
Today, on the one-year anniversary of Wall Street Reform, Republicans are holding votes on a measure to gut consumer protections put in place to protect against another “Great Recession.”

Millions of Americans lost their homes, jobs, savings, and economic security because of the recklessness of Wall Street and other financial institutions. Instead of embracing efforts to avoid another economic collapse, House Republicans have done everything they can to defund, delay, and destroy implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the cornerstones of Wall Street Reform.

Less than a week ago, President Obama nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to serve as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Today’s measure to alter Wall Street reforms would slash his position from the CFPB.

“The Republicans are hell-bent on deregulating Wall Street and returning it to the Wild West style of banking that led to the complete collapse of our economy," said Congressman Ryan. "We are still dealing with the fallout of their recklessness. As Democrats attempt to put more cops on the financial market beat, the Republicans are content with burying their heads in the sand and hoping the modern day robber barons will behave themselves. None of the criminals that caused the collapse went to prison. And now, these measures to defund, delay, and destroy implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would undermine oversight for mortgages, credit cards, student loans and other financial transactions.

As we recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, House Republicans have once again demonstrated how out of touch they are by attacking the very safeguards put in place to protect against an economic collapse in the future. They might be comfortable leaving their constituents without these essential measures, but the people of my district and across Ohio have suffered enough. They deserve some peace of mind as they try to recover from the financial hardships they’ve faced.”

Yesterday Tim told me why he was eager to sign onto the Grijalva-Ellison letter to Speaker Pelosi to protect the Big Three. “Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are essential to making sure people are having their most fundamental needs met. Working families have been hit the hardest by the economic difficulties we’re facing-- cutting programs that make sure they can cover basic living and medical expenses while we continue to protect tax cuts for the top 1% is unthinkable. We must continue to stand up for working people-- the Republicans’ definition of “shared sacrifice” continues to only fall on those who have sacrificed too much already.” Ryan on Ryan... on the floor:

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