Seniors Lobby for Wall Street Bill

Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:16pm

More than two dozen seniors from the Vida Senior Center in Washington, D.C., were on hand Wednesday as top Senate Democrats pledged to move forward with financial regulatory reform legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) joined with Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Christopher Dodd (Conn.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) to tell the seniors and reporters that they weren’t giving up on the measure.

While a vote to move forward on the bill failed for the third time this week, Barbara Easterling of the Alliance for Retired Americans said Senators must press on with reform so that senior citizens aren’t taken advantage of by financial institutions.

“It’s time for certain Senators to act in the best interest of people and not profits,” Easterling said. Seniors “are looking to the federal government for help.”

The group of seniors, led by Angel Luis Irene, was set to meet with Reid on Wednesday afternoon. Irene said the seniors want action now.

“We are here to convey to Senators here that we are concerned by what is happening, the lack of action,” Irene said. “Financial institutions “are going after what is left of what seniors have.”

Despite Republicans’ move to continue to block debate, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member on the Banking panel, said that he and Dodd have “made great strides,” particularly on the “too big to fail” measure.

Shelby, who was scheduled to meet with Dodd on Wednesday afternoon, said the two are still trying to bridge the gap on the proposed consumer agency and on derivatives.