Roll Call: Coalition Battles Banking Lobby

Unions, Activists Unite on Reforms

By Anna Palmer
Roll Call Staff
Nov. 4, 2009, 12 a.m.

Watch out, banking lobbyists. Americans for Financial Reform believes it has your number.

The coalition of unions, consumer advocates, investor protection groups and civil rights organizations is mounting a campaign to ensure that its interests aren’t forgotten in the massive financial regulatory reform legislation Congress is tackling.

The lobbying push comes as the financial services industry has successfully worked to narrow the Obama administration’s effort to give the government massive new powers over struggling financial institutions and to protect consumers.

Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, said the mobilization is a response to the enormous lobbying push by industry groups such as the American Bankers Association and other large financial institutions to try to minimize the impact of the legislation.

“I knew industry would mount a fierce offensive against protection for consumers,” Mierzwinski said. “I’ve never seen anything like it in 20 years. The whole world of industry is against reform.”

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