Bank Deregulation Bill Keeps Getting Worse

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The banking deregulation bill wending its way through Congress just keeps getting worse and worse:

The bipartisan Senate bill includes requirements that Equifax and the other credit reporting companies allow people to freeze and unfreeze their files for free and provide free credit monitoring for active-duty members of the military….But as the bill nears final approval in the Senate this week, its main sponsor, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), has proposed an amendment with provisions that would…prohibit active duty military from suing credit-reporting companies regarding any problems with the free credit monitoring.

Credit reporting companies are arrogant and careless beyond belief, and no one is willing to hold them to account. If there were even a smidgen of justice in the world, they’d be required to offer free, simple, universal credit freezes for everyone and free credit monitoring for everyone and they’d be statutorily responsible for any damages due to identity theft. Plus we’d have a law encouraging people to sue their asses off just for the hell of it. They deserve it. Instead we get this.

Meanwhile, our erstwhile Democratic standard bearer is pretending to oppose a provision that limits the number of banks who have to provide information designed to reduce lending discrimination against minorities:

In a final indignity, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., has offered an amendment essentially striking a controversial provision from bipartisan bank deregulation bill S.2155 that would limit tools prosecutors use to detect mortgage lending discrimination, while acknowledging that the amendment probably wouldn’t get a vote — and wouldn’t be necessary for his ultimate support.

He knows this is going nowhere and he isn’t threatening to pull his support over it. So it’s pointless except as a hollow gesture meant to show what a good guy he is. Blecch.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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