WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator JD Vance (R-OH) questioned a group of megabank CEOs on their inappropriate and partisan involvement in the American political system.
Watch Senator Vance’s comments here and below:
Senator Vance: “One of the things that I’ve expressed is my concern that the American political system is infecting the American financial system and frankly, the American financial system is infecting the American political system.
“This is a graphic compiled by my staff, which lists the ways in which your financial institutions have gotten involved in major political debates of the last few years. Things like the Georgia voter identification law. Things like whether to lend to fossil fuel-based companies. Things like guns and abortion. I should say, of course, that we all have our opinions on matters of public policy.
“The people of our states elected us to do public policy. Nobody elected you, and so my counsel and my line of questioning are going to be very focused on this particular issue. Stay out of public policy unless it affects your core business interests, because if you don’t, it’s going to be a lot harder for us to see you guys as neutral arbiters and neutral actors in the American financial system. It’s going to be much easier for us to see you as political actors. Now to focus on a couple of issues, just because I think they highlight the absurdity of this and that will lead me to my questions.
“Georgia, in 2021, passed an extraordinarily moderate voter identification law. Six of the eight of you immediately issued statements criticizing the state of Georgia to that effect, or at least your institutions issued statements to that effect. Now, I should point out that New York has a voter identification law, a much more stringent voter identification law than the state of Georgia.
“Did any of you issue statements criticizing the state of New York for the voter identification law? Show of hands. Let the record show that none of you criticized New York for a more stringent law, but you jumped into a culture war over Georgia. I can’t possibly understand why…
“Often, bank CEOs and other financial institutions will come to Republicans for more reasonable regulations, for lower regulations, for lower taxes to fight back against things like Basel III.
“If you guys are going to use the financial power that you’ve accumulated to go to war against the values of our voters, impoverish our constituents who rely on cheap energy, and destroy the jobs of people who work in the energy sector, why should we listen to you when you come and ask us for a tax break or for reasonable regulations?
“I’m one Republican who wants to have a good relationship with you, but the more you guys insert yourself into these fights, the less good that relationship will be. Thank you all for being here.”