Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Vitter Amendment

Category: Issue 22

Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, put forward an amendment to the financial reform bill that would have mirrored Ron Paul’s tough Audit the Fed language.  The senate version of that original bill has 32 cosponsors, but six of them voted against the Vitter amendment.  Litmocracy has contacted each one to get an idea why they voted that way.  If you would like to discuss the issue with a staff member, please use the telephone numbers below.  The Liberty Lobby is the cleanest and largest lobby, but it requires action from all of us.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (202) 224-3553
Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (202) 224-5824
Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) (202) 224-4524
Bob Bennett (R-UT) (202) 224-5444
Tom Harkin (D-IA) (202) 224-3254
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (202) 224-4242

I started with my own state’s senator, Barbara Boxer.  A staff member explained that she voted for the Sanders amendment instead of the Vitter amendment because it was “more clearly written and better reflected her views on the audit.”  Her views are that it should be a full audit and there should be more than one.  I explained that the Sander’s amendment had neither of those features, and that the Vitter amendment did.  The staff member said he would pass that info along to the senator.

Senator Landrieu voted against the Vitter amendment because she believed it would impinge on the Fed’s monetary policy independence.  While explicitly denying that Senator Landrieu believes that taking a closer look at the Federal Reserve would cause the Fed to do a worse job, her office explained that the Vitter amendment would impinge on the Fed’s monetary policy independence, but could not explain how it would impinge.

Senator Cardin believed the Sander’s amendement provided better transparency and a fuller audit.

Bennet’s office let me leave a voice mail for Natalie Cook because the first staff member did not have the details about why Bennet voted against the amendment.

Harkin’s office does not answer.  I let it ring at least ten times.

Leahy’s office had no details about his reasons, but said they’d call back if they get any time, but that they have to field a lot of calls from Vermont residents.  If you know someone who lives in Vermont, perhaps they’ll have better luck.

There are also senators who did NOT cosponsor S604, but who voted in favor of the Vitter amendment.  Perhaps a phone call would get them to cosponsor it…

Bunning (R-KY) (202) 224-4343
Cantwell (D-WA) (202) 224-3441
Collins (R-ME) (202) 224-2523
Ensign (R-NV) (202) 224-6244
LeMieux (R-FL) (202) 224-3041
Roberts (R-KS) (202) 224-4474
Sanders (I-VT) (202) 224-5141
Sessions (R-AL) (202) 224-4124
Shelby (R-AL) (202) 224-5744
Snowe (R-ME) (202) 224-5344

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