Thursday, July 15, 2010

Congress Passes Comprehensive Financial Reform

The Senate gave final approval to a financial reform bill today, voting 60-39 to send the measure to President Obama for his signature. Arkansas Senators Pryor and Lincoln voted for the legislation; Congressman John Boozman (R-AR3) voted against it in the House.

Today’s vote represents a historic shift of power—away from big bankers and CEOs to working families and Main Street. For years, big banks have profited on the backs of working families. Millions of working families lost their jobs and still can’t find work because of the reckless and selfish actions of Wall Street and the big banks.

After the financial meltdown brought on by Wall Street’s greed and irresponsibility, it would have been an outrage for the status quo to stand. Yet all but three Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against reforming our bloated and unaccountable financial sector.

Fortunately, President Obama and working family leaders in Congress stood firm to put our country back on track toward an economy that works for everyone. In the end, fifty-seven Democrats and three Republicans voted for this landmark legislation. This vote will make it a lot harder for big bankers to indulge their greed at the expense of working people.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will:

· Create a strong consumer protection agency to protect working people from predatory lenders;

· Shed light on the shadow markets by requiring most derivatives to clear and trade on open, transparent exchanges and mandating that large managers of hedge funds and private equity funds register with the Securities and Exchange Commission;

· Give long term investors new tools to hold corporate boards and senior management accountable; and

· Help prevent future bank bailouts by creating a council of regulators to oversee systemic risk, giving regulators authority to dissolve failing financial institutions while prohibiting bailouts for bank shareholders and executives

· Moving toward restoring of Glass Steagall by limiting banks ability to make risky bets backed by taxpayer funds.

We will continue to fight for reforms that will further address too big to fail financial institutions and make Wall Street pay its fair share to create the 8 million jobs it helped destroy.

As we look ahead to November, when voters will once again have the ability to stay on the path to change or look back to the failed policies of the past, this vote is a defining line in the sand. Working families will be dedicated to supporting leaders who vote to create jobs and hold Wall Street and big business accountable.

Voters now have a clear picture of those who stand on the side of Main Street and those who choose instead to stand on the side of Wall Street. We will not forget.

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