Liberty reporting here, on another busy week the nation’s capital!
Last week, you may recall, Public Citizen demanded fracking be regulated. This week, we turn to nuclear power. Tomorrow, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be considering recommendations on what to do to secure U.S. nuclear reactors in light of the disaster in Japan. Public Citizen will be issuing a statement tomorrow morning about our concerns regarding spent fuel pools and other issues.
Also tomorrow, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, led by public interest veteran Dr. Sidney Wolfe, will have something to say tomorrow about a dangerous drug. Stay tuned.
On Wednesday, another staged hearing drawing on the testimony of biased industry representatives with dogs, or should I say wallets and/or campaign coffers, in the fight. Expect more empty and unproven rhetoric about how regulations are, expensive, unnecessary, costing jobs and sending the economy down the toilet. All will fly in the face of the facts. Visit the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards for more information and stay tuned for the launch of a campaign that you can get involved in later in the week! Plus, be on the look out for a new report on executive compensation . . .
Thursday, get out a candle and your party hats as the Wall Street reform bill, aka Dodd-Frank, turns one year old. Actually, put away the party hats. The truth is it’s been a rough first year.
We were frustrated to get word this weekend that Obama was not standing up to the financial lobby and for the woman who exposed the banksters behind the global financial meltdown. Today, our president Robert Weissman said that Wall Street had torpedoed Elizabeth Warren and Obama caved to the financial industry. Nevertheless, we hope the Senate will move quickly to approve Rich Cordray but we aren’t holding our breath. Last spring, we reported on the number of lobbyists the financial industry has working for them on the Hill and since that time, the numbers have only risen. Our financial analyst Bartlett Naylor aptly refers to these new recruits as “the financial lobby SWAT team” and their goal is simple: weaken Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. What’s interesting is just how similar the rhetoric of the industry today, versus during the New Deal Era.
Our Congress Watch division has its eyes pealed as campaign donations numbers surface following Friday’s filing. There will be lots to take note of in this sad post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) era. Today, the National Journal reported that Crossroads GPS, cousin to the conservative political action committee (PAC) American Crossroads that spent $70 million dollars in the 2010 midterms, will be making it’s what-do-you-mean-money-doesn’t-equal-speech-debut this week with a series of ads designed to sway opinion in the critical two weeks before we hit the debt ceiling.
No doubt there will be more to report on later as we at Public Citizen strive to be your voice this week in the halls of power.
Rachel Lewis, former wonk gone atwitter aka Public Citizen’s New Media strategy and online outreach coordinator. Follow @citvox and @Public_Citizen.