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December 16, 2015

Statement on the Omnibus Spending Bill: A Big Win for the American People and a Loss for Special Interests

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Contact: Jeff Gohringer, 202-618-6430 or

Better Markets Statement on the Omnibus Spending Bill: A Big Win for the American People and a Loss for Special Interests

Washington, DC — Better Markets President and CEO Dennis Kelleher issued this statement in reaction to the omnibus spending bill released late last night:

“The American people have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, including President Obama, his administration, and the many members of Congress who stood up to Wall Street’s money, power, and might. Thanks to them, the annual funding bill does not include Wall Street’s deregulation special interest wish list that it fought long and hard for, including riders that would have killed the ‘best interest’ fiduciary duty rule, prevented the Federal Reserve from regulating the most dangerous banks, weakened the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s ability to rein in high-risk nonbanks, and handcuffed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Killing the Department of Labor’s best interest fiduciary duty rule was a top priority of many in the financial industry, and they spent tens of millions of dollars trying to do that. But, despite the money and might of Wall Street and its army of lobbyists, President Obama, Secretary Perez, Leader Reid, Leader Pelosi, and others never wavered in protecting America’s retirement savers. This is a major victory for tens of millions of Americans who deserve unbiased advice so that they can retire with dignity and security. The DOL must now quickly finalize its rule, close outdated loopholes, and require Wall Street brokers and other financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients saving for retirement.

Unfortunately, the funding bill is an imperfect compromise. For example, Wall Street and its Congressional allies continue to grossly underfund the CFTC financial cops on the Wall Street beat. Outrageously, this bill flat funds the CFTC at a mere $250 million, when they are responsible for policing a $400 trillion derivatives market. This is almost 25 percent below their bare bones budget request of $322 million. The American people will never be protected from recklessness, irresponsibility, and criminality in the financial industry until the CFTC is fully funded.

Still, Wall Street wasted tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and a massive disinformation campaign in an attempt to hijack the funding bill and load it up with special interests. Thanks to the work of many financial reform champions, it’s clear that the American people have a lot to celebrate with this compromise.”

Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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