Feingold a No on FinReg
Monday, June 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who did not vote for the Senate version of financial regulatory reform, not believing the bill strong enough, has indicated that he will not vote for this version either. Here is the full text of his press release:
“As I have indicated for some time now, my test for the financial regulatory reform bill is whether it will prevent another crisis. The conference committee’s proposal fails that test and for that reason I will not vote to advance it. During debate on the bill, I supported several efforts to break up ‘too big to fail’ Wall Street banks and restore the proven safeguards established after the Great Depression separating Main Street banks from big Wall Street firms, among other issues. Unfortunately, these crucial reforms were rejected. While there are some positive provisions in the final measure, the lack of strong reforms is clear confirmation that Wall Street lobbyists and their allies in Washington continue to wield significant influence on the process.”
Senator Feingold was one of eight senators to oppose the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. Senator Feingold also opposed the Wall Street bail-out in 2008. During consideration of the financial regulatory reform bill, Feingold cosponsored a number of key amendments to ensure that banks are no longer too big to fail, and that depression-era reforms to create a firewall between Wall Street and Main Street are restored, among other critical issues. None of these amendments were included in the final bill, which is why it failed Feingold’s test for real reform. Amendments Feingold cosponsored included:
- Cantwell-McCain-Feingold amendment to restore the Glass-Steagall firewall between Wall Street and Main Street
- Senator Dorgan’s “too big to fail” amendment, which requires that no financial entity be permitted to become so large that its failure threatens the financial stability of the U.S.
- Brown-Kaufman amendment proposing strict limits on the size of financial institutions
- Dorgan amendment to ban so-called naked credit default swaps, speculative bets that played a role in the economic crisis
- Merkley-Levin amendment to prohibit any bank with government insured deposits from engaging in high-risk finance, like investing in hedge funds or private equity funds
That means Democrats’ next best option will be to win the vote of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who did not vote for the original version either.
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