The Brown-Kaufman SAFE Banking amendment (S.3241) has become the single most important amendment to the financial reform bill to end bailouts. It is the most transformative bill because it addresses the problem that too big to fail banks are too big to regulate properly and are able to capture votes in Congress like nobody’s business. (UPDATE: Our data crunching shows that Senators who are currently opposed to breaking up the banks receive twice as much in campaign contributions from the finance sector than those who are for “SAFE Banking.”)

It is going to be voted on by the Senate soon, possibly by the end of this week. We’re making tons of progress — MoveOn is on board, New York Times is supporting it, the Senate’s #2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, is supportive — and we have a real chance here to limit the size of the biggest banks so they don’t distort our politics and put out economy at risk any longer.

But here’s the problem. We don’t know where to focus our our calls to Congress to secure the last few votes we need to get the amendment passed. We’re totally outgunned here by the moneyed special interests that oppose fixing too big to fail, but we have the momentum and we are closer than ever to pulling it off.

Here’s what we need to do.

  1. Go to this link and enter your zip code to get the phone numbers for your two senators.
  2. Make a quick call to each asking if they support the Brown-Kaufman SAFE Banking Act. Tell them they should.
  3. If they don’t give you a straight answer, do a quick Google search (for example: “too big to fail” John Kerry) and see if you can find any public statements indicating where they stand on the issue.
  4. Record your findings in the comments section of this blog post and we’ll update a running tally of what we know about where each senators stands.

We need at least one person from each state to do this. This is the single most important thing you can do right now to help the effort to break up the big banks. If you know anyone in another state who supports breaking up the banks please email this blog post to them so they can help out too. Thank You!! (UPDATE: We helped deliver 50,000 of the petitions for breaking up the banks featured in this picture and article and now Reid is a leaning yes!)


Ted Kaufamn [D, DE]
Sherrod Brown [D, OH]
Bob Casey [D, PA] and this
Tom Harkin [D, IA]
Jeff Merkley [D, OR]
Bernie Sanders [I, VT]
Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]
Dick Durbin [D, IL]
Roland Burris [D, IL]
Byron Dorgan [D, ND]
Al Franken [D, MN]
Russ Feingold [D, WI] and this
Harry Reid [D, NV]
Jim Webb [D, VA]
Mark Pryor [D, AR]
Chuck Schumer [D, NY]
John Kerry [D, MA]

Lean “Yes”

Pat Leahy [D, VT]
Patty Murray [D, WA] (and this) and this
Ben Cardin [D, MD]
Jim Bunning [R, KY]
Ron Wyden [D, OR]
Debbie Stabenow [D, MI] and this
Robert Byrd [D, WV]
Barbara Mikulski [D, MD] and this and this
Robert Menendez [D, NJ] and this
Tom Coburn [R, OK]
Maria Cantwell [D, WA] and this and this


John Kerry [D, MA] and this
Scott Brown [R, MA]
Jack Reed [D, RI]
Barbara Boxer [D, CA] and this
Dianne Feinstein [D, CA] and this
Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
John Cornyn [R, TX] (also this) and this
Jack Reed [D, RI]
Richard Chambliss [R, GA]
Tom Udall [D, NM]
Jeff Bingaman [D, NM]
Carl Levin [D, MI] and this
Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]
Johnny Isakson [R, GA]
Daniel Akaka [D, HI] and this
Daniel Inouye [D, HI] and this
Jon Tester [D, MT]
Max Baucus [D, MT]
Patty Murray [D, WA]
Benjamin Cardin [D, MD]
Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]
Chris Dodd [D, CT]
George Voinovich [R, OH]
Roger Wicker [R, MS]
Kay Hutchison [R, TX]
Susan Collins [R, ME]
Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Herbert Kohl [D, WI]
Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY]
Blanche Lincoln [D, AR]


Kent Conrad [D, ND]
Bill Nelson [D, FL]
Mark Begich [D, AK]
Mark Warner [D, VA]
Judd Gregg [R, NH]
Chuck Grassley [R, IA]
Mike Enzi [R, WY]
Jeff Sessions [R, AL]
Mike Crapo [R, ID]
John Ensign [R, NV]
Lamar Alexander [R, TN]
Thad Cochran [R, MS]


92 Responses to “Whip the Senate on SAFE Banking”

  1. Robert Roth says:

    I’m from Oregon and have already called to thank Jeff Merkley twice for supporting the measure. I called Senator Wyden’s office and got a recording saying due to the volume of calls my call would be answered in the order received. I waited some minutes, then the line went busy, effectively disconnecting my call. I did sent Sen. Wyden an email asking him to support the measure and to let me know what he decides.
    I’d like to add that getting the new consumer protection agency to be truly independent, and OUTSIDE the Fed, is possibly the second most important priority here. And ultimately we need a new economy because the one we have now is both unsustainable and not going to recover. See my website,, for the analysis on that.

  2. [...] website at A New Way Forward is now reporting via a whip count page on the Brown-Kaufman amendment that Majority Leader Reid is listed as a supporter — and just [...]

  3. Kamaaina says:

    Called both of Hawai’i's Senators, Inouye and Akaka this morning. Their staffers say that they are both ‘undecided’ and have not made statements regarding S.3241. Left comments for both urging them to vote ‘yes’.

  4. Dianne Foster says:

    I called Murray and Cantwell’s offices yesterday, as well as Harry Reid’s. Murray was undecided, but staff would give her my message (I’m a Dem PCO in Bellingham); Cantwell’s staff sounded very positive, so I called again today to see if there was any movement, and she said she would have something out later today. Reid’s staff sounded very knowledgeable on the amendment, open and receptive when I said I thought Dems would benefit by a structural reform of Wall St. that clearly put them on the side of Main St., and if they didn’t, progressives would probably sit out this election. (Simon wants us to focus getting others to call Reid’s office.)

  5. Jessica Davis-Stein says:

    I called both Feinstein and Boxer, both undecided but Boxer’s rep said he was pretty sure she’d be for it.

  6. Jean Guest says:

    Couldn’t get through to Boxer – her mailbox seems to be overflowing. Spoke to someone at Feinstein and told them I did the finances for 3 small businesses and none of the big banks around us wants to give small business a Line of Credit. We need the competition generated by a breakup. At least she was familiar with the amendment.

  7. Jean Guest says:

    Feinstein still undecided

  8. Stoney Bird says:

    Maria Cantwell (WA) has not yet taken a position. Left a message with Patty Murray (WA) asking her to vote for the amendment and to let me know her intentions.

  9. c-spanviewer says:

    I called Senators Lautenberg and Menendez a week ago. Menendez staffer said she expected Menendez to vote for Kaufman-Brown. Lautenberg’s line just gives me the chance to speak after the beep. I sent him an email as well and asked for a response.

  10. Heather McGhee says:

    Call all offices now! Vote tonight at 8:15!

  11. c-spanviewer says:

    Chris Dodd state that he’s against the Kaufman-Brown amendment just now…surprise surprise

  12. Donny Shaw says:

    AFR says Kerry is a YES

  13. Patrick O. says:

    Just watched the vote on CSPAN 2. Pretty sad. So many Dems voted no despite a few Republicans voting yes. I’m disappointed in Kerry and Feinstein. I knew Dodd would vote no, the slimeball.

  14. [...] Tiffiniy Cheng has a “whip count” and suggestions regarding how to sharpen everyone’s focus on key [...]

  15. Susan singh says:

    Neither of Ok’s senators will support the legislation, their staff told me.

  16. james says:

    as far as Im concerned if your local senator needs to think about it like feinstien and boxer. Im not voteing of them for takeing contributions from the banks. wall street and washington is dirty to the bone.!!!! along with the big theifing bankers. they must all fall down.!!!!