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Maryland joins states seeking Glass-Steagall bank reform from Congress

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Maryland has joined more than a dozen other states in calling on Congress to pass Glass-Steagall legislation protecting U.S. bank deposits.

Lawmakers in Annapolis introduced House Joint Resolution 8 on Friday. The measure was assigned to the Committee on Rules and Executive Nominations.

HJR 8 is sponsored by Delegates Braveboy, Bobo, Branch, Bromwell, Burns, Cane, Carr, Carter, Clagett, Conway, Cullison, Donoghue, Eckardt, Fraser–Hidalgo, Frush, Gaines, Glenn, Griffith, Gutierrez, Howard, Hucker, Impallaria, Ivey, Jones, A. Kelly, Lafferty, Lee, Love, McComas, McIntosh, Morhaim, Nathan–Pulliam, Niemann, Oaks, Otto, Pena–Melnyk, B. Robinson, S. Robinson, Sophocleus, Stocksdale, Stukes, Swain, F. Turner, V. Turner, Valderrama, Vallario, A. Washington, M. Washington, Wilson, and Wood.

The lawmakers call on Congress to "reinstate the separation of commercial and investment banking functions in effect under the Glass–Steagall Act and that would prohibit commercial banks and bank holding companies from investing in stocks, underwriting securities, or investing in or acting as guarantors to derivative transactions to prevent American taxpayers from being called upon to fund hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out financial institutions."

Glass-Steagall bills pending in Congress include H.R. 129, "The Return to Prudent Baking Act of 2013," and S. 1282, "The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2013."

The move to reinstate Glass-Steagall protections -- disbanded by Congress in 1999 -- has been gaining strength in recent months. Other states with recently introduced Glass-Steagall bills include Rhode Island, New Mexico and Arizona.

Following is a verbatim copy of the Maryland measure:

1 A House Joint Resolution concerning

2 Reinstatement of the Separation of Commercial and Investment Banking
3 Functions

4 FOR the purpose of urging the United States Congress to support efforts to reinstate
5 the separation of commercial and investment banking functions in effect under
6 the Glass–Steagall Act and to support H. R. 129.

7 WHEREAS, An effective money and banking system is essential to the
8 functioning of the economy; and

9 WHEREAS, Such a system must function in the public interest, without bias;
10 and

11 WHEREAS, Since 1933, the Federal Banking Act of 1933, known as the
12 Glass–Steagall Act, protected the public interest in matters dealing with the
13 regulation of commercial and investment banking, in addition to insurance companies
14 and securities; and

15 WHEREAS, The Glass–Steagall Act was repealed in 1999, partially
16 contributing to the greatest speculative bubble and worldwide recession since the
17 Great Depression of 1933; and

18 WHEREAS, The worldwide recession has left millions of homes in foreclosure;
19 and

1 WHEREAS, The worldwide recession has cost the loss of millions of jobs
2 nationwide; and

3 WHEREAS, The worldwide recession has put severe financial strain on states,
4 counties, and cities, exacerbating unemployment and loss of civil services; and

5 WHEREAS, The United States Senate and the House of Representatives have
6 been making efforts to restore the protections of the Glass–Steagall Act; and

7 WHEREAS, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur has introduced H. R. 129, known as
8 the Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2013, that would revive the separation between
9 commercial banking and the securities business in the manner provided in the
10 Glass–Steagall Act; and

11 WHEREAS, Restoration of the protections of the Glass–Steagall Act has
12 widespread national support from labor organizations, including the American
13 Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO), the
14 American Federation of Teachers, and the International Association of Machinists;
15 from prominent economic and business leaders, including Thomas Hoenig of the
16 Federal Deposit Insurance Company, Sanford Weill, former Chief Executive Officer of
17 Citigroup, and economist Luigi Zingales; and from newspapers, including the New
18 York Times, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Los Angeles Times, and many others;
19 now, therefore, be it

20 RESOLVED, BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That the
21 members of the Maryland General Assembly urge the United States Congress to enact
22 legislation that would reinstate the separation of commercial and investment banking
23 functions in effect under the Glass–Steagall Act and that would prohibit commercial
24 banks and bank holding companies from investing in stocks, underwriting securities,
25 or investing in or acting as guarantors to derivative transactions to prevent American
26 taxpayers from being called upon to fund hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out
27 financial institutions; and be it further

28 RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be forwarded by the Department of
29 Legislative Services to the President of the United States, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
30 NW, Washington, D.C. 20500; the Vice President of the United States, 1600
31 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500; the Speaker of the House, H–232
32 The Capitol, Washington, D.C. 20515; Representative Marcy Kaptur, House Office
33 Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; and the Maryland Congressional Delegation:
34 Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, Senate Office Building,
35 Washington, D.C. 20510; and Representatives C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III, John P.
36 Sarbanes, Donna Edwards, Steny Hamilton Hoyer, Andrew P. Harris, John Delaney,
37 Elijah E. Cummings, and Christopher Van Hollen, Jr., House Office Building,
38 Washington, D.C. 20515.

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