Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), supported by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), testified this evening to the House Rules Committee and asked it to “set up a fair debate on reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act” in the House, to return a “healthier, more competitive, sounder banking system instead of rampant [Wall Street] speculation.” She said, “This rests on separating risky speculation from prudent banking…. Glass-Steagall separation.”
Kaptur told the Committee that the decades in which Glass-Steagall was the nation’s primary bank regulation “have been referred to as a golden era” of economic growth, plentiful lending credit, and fair interest paid to consumers on deposits. She said that nearly two-thirds of the community banks which served that era had disappeared since the 1990s when Glass-Steagall was eliminated, and the number of credit unions has been cut in half. Kaptur denounced the six biggest U.S. banks making $141 billion a year in profits while “Grandma Moses earns nothing on her CD.”
“Bernie Sanders campaigned on breaking up these banks,” Kaptur said. “So did Donald Trump. Both Parties’ platforms endorsed it, and the RNC wasted fewer words than the Democrats: `We support restoring the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act.'”
“Our nation has a chance to get this right before another looming financial crisis, perhaps anchored in corporate debt, hits,” Kaptur concluded. “Congress must not wait, the chance to restore Glass-Steagall is now.”
The Rules Committee, on a GOP party-line vote, voted down the Kaptur-Jones amendment as part of the upcoming debate on the Republicans’ “Financial CHOICE Act.” Kaptur will be able to contest this again when the CHOICE Act comes to the House floor, perhaps this week.