Sausage WIN! Senate votes against Banksters in favor of everyone else!

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.

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.

More below the fold.

    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.”

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   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, 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 unnacoutable 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


  1. Although it wasn’t exactly sausage, when I was a pre-schooler, my dad took a tour of a Hormel meat processing plant during which he had the memorable experience of observing Spam being made. Although he was a dedicated meat eater, he was never able to eat Spam ever again. My guess is that such tours are not allowed any more, most likely “for insurance reasons.”

    Here are a couple more observations that may cause one to wonder if the world has temporarily turned upside down.

    Two Democrats, Baucus & Tester from Montana vote against this amendment, while both Republican senators from two adjoining states (i.e., Crapo & Risch, ID; and Barasso & Enzi, WY) vote in its favor.

    From Indiana, Bayh-D votes against, while Lugar-R votes for the amendment.

    Is this strange or what?

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. — Thomas Jefferson

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