2:29 PM EDT
Chris Van Hollen, D-MD 8th

Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the Wall Street accountability bill is very clear: Never again should the American taxpayer be asked to foot the bill for bad bets made on Wall Street. Never again should millions of Americans have to lose their jobs because of reckless conduct on Wall Street. Never again will we allow the American economy to be held hostage to bad decisions on Wall Street and in the financial sector.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle haven't gotten that message. Having stood in this Chamber and having voted to help rescue Wall Street and the financial sector, they are not there for Main Street today. I think some headlines are instructive.

The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2010:

``GOP chases Wall Street Donors.''

``In discussions with Wall Street executives, Republicans are striving to make the case that they are the banks' best hope of preventing President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats from cracking down on Wall Street.''

Roll Call, December 8, 2009:

``House GOP meets with 100 Lobbyists to plot to kill Wall Street Reform.''

``In a call to arms, House Republican leaders met with more than 100 lobbyists at the Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday afternoon to try to fight back against financial regulatory overhaul legislation.''

That is the story of this debate, and the choice is clear: Are we going to be on the side of the big banks, which held the American economy hostage, which resulted in the loss of millions of jobs, and which left the taxpayers on the hook, or are we going to stay on the side of the consumers, taxpayers, American workers, and small businesses? The choice is very clear.

Back in December, every one of our Republican colleagues voted ``no'' on Wall Street accountability. Let's hope, this time, they stand on the side of the American taxpayer and of the American consumer and make the right choice for the American people.