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Glass-Steagall Bill Has 70 Co-Sponsors; Rep. Marcy Kaptur Calls on Congress To Act

Nov. 6, 2015 (EIRNS)—Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), initiator of the House bill to re-instate Glass-Steagall (H.R. 381, "Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2015"), yesterday spoke on the House floor, calling on Congress to take action. The latest signer is Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Philadelphia, who co-signed on Nov. 3.

Kaptur’s remarks follow, from the full transcript in the Congressional Record for Nov. 5:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to encourage you to join with me and 69 of our colleagues, a total of 70 already, who have signed on to cosponsor H.R. 381, the Return to Prudent Banking Act. This bipartisan bill would restore the provisions of the Glass-Steagall banking law that separated prudent banking from wild speculation in the financial realm.

Yesterday marked the 16th year, to the day, that Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, bestowing on financial institutions and investment firms the ability to put the life savings and deposits of the American people at greater risk. I was one of the 57 Members of this Congress who voted against that repeal of Glass-Steagall. At that time, my colleagues and I were told by Wall Street that the banks were strangled by outdated restrictions, that the repeal was a modern experiment in deregulation; so Congress repealed this bedrock law, over our objections. Look where that decision took America. We witnessed a terrible market crash in 2008; now, slow growth and the outrageous enormous accumulation of banking assets in a handful of institutions like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America. They are raking in record-shattering profits while paying depositors almost nothing on their interest or on certificates of deposit as wages for working-class Americans continue to flatline.

The original Glass-Steagall Act served our country well. It laid the foundation for an unprecedented half century without financial panics or crises. Just as important, it contributed to a right-sized banking system focused on serving our economy and society as a whole rather than enriching itself at everyone elses expense.

This Congress must reinstate the regulatory prudence of the Glass-Steagall Act. Without these proper safeguards, it is only a matter of time before Wall Street’s greedy operatives once again steer the American economy over the precipice. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to co-sponsor H.R. 381, the Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2015. Help restore prudence, discipline, and sanity to our financial system and, in turn, real economic growth to Americas.