AFR: Big Banks and Wall Street Execs Behind U.S. Chamber Attacks on CFPA

Jan 20, 2010, 13:59 ET from Americans for Financial Reform

Demands Transparency from Chamber in Wake of Insurance Industry Scandal re: Funding Chamber's Health Care Attack Ads

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In advance of U.S. Chamber visits to Capitol Hill today, Americans for Financial Reform sent a letter to both houses of Congress urging Members to demand that the Chamber reveal who is funding its campaign against the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.  Just as last week's U.S. Chamber scandal revealed that five of the largest insurance companies had funneled up to $20 million through the U.S. Chamber to run advertisements against health care reform, the real interests who benefit from the U.S. Chamber's campaign to defeat financial reform are the big banks and Wall Street fat cats receiving billions in bonuses.  

"Neither Congress nor the American public should have to accept the Chamber's misleading and self-serving misrepresentations of its membership and their contributions," AFR's letter to Congress states.  "We deserve to know who is really bankrolling this effort to keep a broken status quo in place."

Despite the U.S. Chamber's attempt to put forward small business as face of its campaign, the truth is that its board of directors is dominated by large corporations and one-third of the U.S. Chamber's 2008 income came from just 19 donors.  Even the Chamber's arguments on financial reform show who it really represents; despite the Chamber's false rhetoric that the CFPA will hurt small businesses, the fact is that Main Street businesses, like ordinary consumers, need financial reform.  

The position that members of Congress won't hear on the Hill today is the U.S. Chamber's steadfast defense of record Wall Street bonuses.  Last week, U.S. Chamber CEO Tom Donohue defended the record $145 billion in bonuses being paid to the executives of the bailed-out banks that were at the root of the financial crisis – likening them to "mad scientists" whose brilliance justifies their outsized pay.  

The letter to Congress can be downloaded here, or at

SOURCE Americans for Financial Reform