Biden-Sanders unity task force calls for Fed, US Postal Service consumer banking
A task force set up by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to bridge policy divides within the Democratic Party on Wednesday called for the creation of a government-run banking system set up through the Federal Reserve and U.S. Postal Service.
The Biden-Sanders “Unity Task Forces” unveiled Wednesday an extensive list of policy recommendations crafted by advisors and allies of Biden — the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — and Sanders, who was the final remaining challenger before endorsing the former vice president in April.
Those recommendations proposed by the economy-focused Unity Task Force included the creation of a vast new public banking infrastructure intended to expand access to basic financial services without the use of private-sector companies.
“Democrats will support and encourage Congressional efforts to guarantee affordable, transparent, trustworthy banking services for low- and middle-income families, including bank accounts and real-time payment systems through the Federal Reserve and easily accessible service locations, including postal banking,” the task force wrote.
The recommendations call for using the Federal Reserve system to provide every American with “an affordable bank account” and payment services, and allow access to banking services at U.S. post offices. While the Fed is currently developing its own payment system, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in June panned the creation of personal Fed accounts as a “dramatic change” that could undermine U.S. banks.
Progressive Democrats and advocates have also long supported offering basic banking services through the USPS as it did in the beginning of the 20th Century.
The task force also called for strengthening bank regulations created through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, creating more separation between commercial and investment banking activities, and creating a federal credit reporting bureau through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Reports from that credit bureau would be mandatory for any federal loan, including federally backed mortgages.
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