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Public Citizen Calls on Congress to Oppose Volcker Rule Delay

Jan. 7, 2015

Public Citizen Calls on Congress to Oppose Volcker Rule Delay

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter (PDF) sent today to the U.S. House of Representatives, Public Citizen calls for opposition to H.R. 37, a package of treats for Wall Street. One treat is a delay through 2019 of a key element of the Volcker rule. Congress approved the Volcker rule as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to prevent mega-banks from gambling with taxpayer-insured deposits.

“Not a month since Congress unwisely pierced a key Wall Street safeguard that would have prevented certain bank speculation with taxpayer-insured funds, the House now considers a package with several measures that threaten the fabric of other protections,” according to the letter.

As part of a spending bill to keep the federal government operating, Congress approved a measure last month authored by Citigroup lobbyists to permit certain gambling activities through derivatives within the taxpayer-insured banks, instead of conducting these trades in as separately capitalized affiliate.

The new bill permits banks to retain certain high-risk assets that are part of so-called collateralized loan obligations through 2019. Originally, the 2010 Volcker rule called for divestiture by 2012.

The letter was sent in advance of the 12:45 p.m. vote on H.R. 37.