Right now, I am absolutely astonished how the special interests work in this town. Incredible.
Ever since I took office, I have been meeting with people who have been hurt by the economic crisis by big Wall Street players. People who lost jobs and homes, or saw their savings decline. I came here to work hard for them, and for the last 18 months, that's what I have been doing.
One of my proudest achievements in Congress came yesterday morning when President Obama signed the Wall Street Reform bill. I worked hard on the House Financial Services Committee to help draft those reforms, and I was honored to serve as a negotiator for the final bill with the Senate as a Conferee.
After countless hours of work -- even an all nighter -- I was there when the bill became law.
Do you know how my opponent, former banking lobbyist Steve Stivers commemorated yesterday's passage of Wall Street reform? He attended a high dollar fundraiser hosted by high priced banking and financial services lobbyists who want to repeal Wall Street reform, and will succeed in those efforts if Stivers goes to Congress.
Steve's brazenness is appalling. Millions of families across the country have been rocked by the irresponsible policies and reckless gambling fought for by the financial industry power players who were raising money for him last night.
The passage of Wall Street reform is just a start, a small victory on behalf of each one of these families. I know we have so much more to do, but this bill is one of those rare cases when regular, hard working Americans triumphed over the powerful special interests that tried everything to keep the bill from ever seeing the light of day.
Steve wasn't thinking about those families yesterday, though, as he courted the special interests that got us into this mess in the first place and collected their campaign cash.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Wall Street knows it has an ally in Steve Stivers. He is one of them, after all--a career banking lobbyist who worked to allow banks to engage in the risky practices that just about destroyed our economy. He was a key player in deregulating Ohio banks and allowing them to merge over and over again until some became "too big to fail." And as a state senator he was one of only four legislators to vote against cracking down on predatory lending.
Steve has chosen his constituency. He was with them yesterday afternoon, laughing, slapping their backs and collecting checks. He was making them promises that a still-hurting America must ensure he'll never get the chance to keep.
Last night I was thinking about the families of Ohio's 15th district, my hard working friends and neighbors who, in spite of hardship, still believe in the promise and hope of a better tomorrow. And when the sun rose this morning, they greeted a day that, while far from perfect, is a little bit easier, a little bit more fair, and is, indeed, a little bit better than the one before.
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