Press Releases

Progressive Groups Call on Chuck Schumer to Begin Fighting for Public Interest Watchdogs on Independent Agencies

For Immediate Release
January 24, 2019
Contact: David Segal, [email protected] & Jeff Hauser, [email protected]

20 progressive groups with broad membership organized around a diverse array of issues have come together to call on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the caucus he leads to begin to fight visibly and aggressively in pursuit of the strong independent agencies our country needs.

They assert that Schumer and the Democrats have been derelict in their stewardship of the agencies, and demand that they move swiftly to install an array of regulators with demonstrated records of service in the public interest.

Currently, independent agencies vary between weakened by absent voices, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), to significantly (e.g., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)) and nearly completely nonfunctional (e.g., the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)).

”You would think that a political party that bills itself as the key institution in favor of regulating banks appropriately while protecting working people against discrimination of all kinds would demonstrate real energy when the agencies critical to those fights are under siege by Trump and McConnell,” said Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser. “Yet the apparent lack of Democratic focus on these agencies in 2018 enabled the right wing to accomplish under the radar an attack on institutions they would never undertake directly.”

According to Demand Progress Education Fund Executive Director David Segal, “The lack of action on these vacancies belies the promise of the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal’ agenda, which promises to contest corporate power and elevate the needs of ordinary Americans. For instance, the big banks are desperate to exploit Trump’s remaining time in office to roll back post-crisis rules — and they are thrilled that Republicans hold supermajorities at the SEC and FDIC.”

The letter was signed by:

  • American Family Voices
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Citizen Action of New York
  • Color of Change
  • Daily Kos
  • Demand Progress Education Fund
  • Democracy for America
  • Global Witness
  • Indivisible
  • Justice Democrats
  • New York Communities for Change (NYCC)
  • Our Revolution
  • People Demanding Action
  • Presente
  • Progressive Change Campaign Committee
  • Revolving Door Project
  • Social Security Works
  • Strong Economy For All Coalition
  • UltraViolet