CL&P Blog Special Report: Which Senators Protect Consumers and Which Protect Banks?

by Jeff Sovern

Now that the election is over, the post is back! 

Read the American Banker op-ed on the study here

My student, Andrew Lipkowitz, and I recently reviewed the votes of the members of the United States Senate going back to 2009 on consumer issues.  I'm reporting some of the findings today and I plan to report others in future posts.  We found 21 votes on which, in our view, consumers and financial institutions were on opposite sides (a table identifying the 21 votes and the position we concluded were pro-consumer appears below the fold).  One of the remarkable things about the votes is the degree of partisanship.  All but two Democrats took more pro-consumer positions than any of the Republicans, and only one Republican, the now-defeated Scott Brown of Massachusetts, was more pro-consumer than any of the Democrats–and then it was only two of the Democrats (I wonder if the fact that his opponent is Elizabeth Warren has had an effect on his votes). 

For those who voted at least 16 times on consumer protection issues, we scored Senators as "consumer protectors" if they voted for consumers 65% or more of the time, and "bank protectors" if they voted for consumers 35% or less of the time (not all the votes involved banks, as opposed to other financial institutions or lenders, but it seems easier to use the phrase "bank protectors" than "financial institution protectors").  The lists appear below.  Only three senators who voted at least 16 times on these issues fell in the middle range of more than 35% and less than 65%, offering further evidence of the polarization of the Senate on consumer protection/financial institution protection. 

And now, the Consumer Protectors:

Sherrod Brown

Robert Casey

Dianne Feinstein

Carl Levin

Charles Schumer

Benjamin Cardin

Richard Durbin

Tom Harkin

Jack Reed

Bernard Sanders

Mark Udall

Tom Udall

Ron Wyden

Kirsten Gillibrand

Frank Lautenberg

Patrick Leahy

Robert Menendez

Jeff Merkley

Sheldon Whitehouse

Al Franken

Mark Begich

Barbara Boxer

Daniel Inouye

Harry Reid

John Kerry

Herb Kohl

Jim Webb

Barbara Mikulski

John Rockefeller

Michael Bennet

Amy Klobuchar

Claire McCaskill

Debbie Stabenow

Daniel Akaka

Jeff Bingaman

Maria Cantwell

Kent Conrad

Patty Murray

Jeanne Shaheen

Bill Nelson

Joseph Lieberman

Ray Hagan

Mark Pryor

Mark Warner

Max Baucus

Jon Tester

Thomas Carper

Mary Landrieu

Tim Johnson

Here are the Bank Protectors:

Olympia Snowe

Susan Collins

John Barrasso

Lindsey Graham

Richard Lugar

Saxby Chambliss

Johnny Isakson

Richard Burr

Mike Crapo

Michael Enzi

James Risch

David Vitter

Roger Wicker

Thad Cochran

Orrin Hatch

John McCain

Richard Shelby

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Mike Johanns

Tom Coburn

Lisa Murkowski

Pat Roberts

Lamar Alexander

Bob Corker

John Cornyn

Jim DeMint

James Inhofe

Mitch McConnell

Jeff Sessions

Jon Kyl

John Thune

 Below the fold: the senators, their votes and scores; and the votes and how we scored them:

Here is the spreadsheet showing the senators voting and scores.  It includes all senators, not just those who met the 16 vote minimum.

Download Senate_Consumer_Law_Votes_10-8-12[1]

And here is a table showing the votes and how we scored them:

Download Senate_Vote_table_10-8-12[1]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *