As was reported in this space earlier today, one of the most direct and egregious new examples of Trumpism at work in undermining the well-being of average Americans came to the fore late last night when 50 Republican U.S. Senators voted with Vice President Mike Pence to elevate the interests of giant Wall Street corporations over those of average American consumers. As the New York Times reported:
“Senate Republicans voted on Tuesday to strike down a sweeping new rule that would have allowed millions of Americans to band together in class-action lawsuits against financial institutions.
The overturning of the rule, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-to-50 tie, will further loosen regulation of Wall Street as the Trump administration and Republicans move to roll back Obama-era policies enacted in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. By defeating the rule, Republicans are dismantling a major effort of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the watchdog created by Congress in the aftermath of the mortgage mess….
‘Tonight’s vote is a giant setback for every consumer in this country,’ Richard Cordray, the director of the consumer bureau, said in a statement. ‘As a result, companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax remain free to break the law without fear of legal blowback from their customers.’”
As readers will have likely surmised, both of North Carolina’s senators — Richard Burr and Thom Tillis — voted for the anti-consumer action. What makes this all the more egregious is the fact that South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham voted against and long opposed the action because of the devastating impact it is likely to have on military families. Again, here’s the New York Times:
“In the weeks leading up to the vote, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who sponsored legislation to protect military members from being forced into arbitration, said he would not support a repeal of the rule.”
You got that? Even as a Republican senator from South Carolina — a state with perhaps a quarter of the military population present in North Carolina — loudly and publicly proclaimed his opposition, neither of the senators from the state with the third highest military population could be bothered to join in his effort. Not surprisingly, neither Burr nor Tillis has issued any kind of a statement on their decisive and destructive late night votes.
The bottom line: If North Carolinians ever had any doubts about where Burr’s and Tillis’s ultimate loyalties lie, last night’s action ought to have put them to rest once and for all.