Editorials

Rep. Kevin Yoder helps big banks undo taxpayer protection

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Overland Park played a regrettable role in the raucous government-funding exercise that finally passed in the House late Thursday night.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Overland Park played a regrettable role in the raucous government-funding exercise that finally passed in the House late Thursday night.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Overland Park played a regrettable role in the raucous government-funding exercise that cleared the House Thursday.

Tucked into the $1.1 trillion spending bill is a provision sponsored by Yoder to undo an essential protection of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to regulate Wall Street.

The regulation says banks cannot rely on protection from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation when they trade their riskiest assets. Big banks have attempted to get rid of that taxpayer protection since the law was passed.

Rolling back the measure proved difficult to achieve through the normal legislative process. So lobbyists approached friendly members of Congress about attaching it to a larger bill, according to Politico. They found a champion in Yoder, even though some members warned that slipping deregulatory measures into spending bills had helped spawn abuses that created the Wall Street meltdown.

Yoder’s amendment passed out of a House subcommittee in June, and lobbyists convinced House members to insert it into the massive spending bill.

As The New York Times reports, most of the language of the amendment carried by Yoder was written in the early stages of the rollback effort by lobbyists for Citigroup.

Yoder’s office said in a statement Friday the amendment is backed by regional banks and farmers to “reduce their exposure to changes in the market.”

That may be partly correct. But the big push comes from the mega banks, which want assurance that taxpayers will again cover their losses if they overreach.

Yoder shouldn’t be out front in the effort to aid that nefarious goal. The Senate must kill his provision before passing its version of a spending bill.

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