Washington (CNN) - A Senate committee on Wednesday passed a proposal aimed at helping protect the economy from future meltdowns and taxpayers from more Wall Street bailouts.
The Senate Agricultural Committee voted 13-8 in favor of the bill, which would impose regulations on the complex system of Wall Street trades known as derivatives. Senate leaders now will look at merging the measure with a financial regulations reform bill already passed by the Senate Banking Committee that is headed for debate by the full chamber.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the lone Republican to vote with Democrats on the agriculture panel for the bill. While Wednesday's hearing was but one step in the legislative process, it could provide part of the framework for a congressional deal on financial reform legislation - a major priority of the Obama administration.
Republican senators who last week expressed unanimous opposition to the Banking Committee's bill now, after continued negotiations, say a compromise is possible.
"Both sides have expressed a willingness to make the changes needed to ensure without any doubt that this bill won't put taxpayers on the hook for future bailouts of Wall Street banks," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Tuesday. "I'm heartened to hear that bipartisan talks have resumed in earnest."
The committee chair, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, opened the hearing by saying the legislation would confront "tough problems" in trying to increase regulation of Wall Street trading.
Lincoln, a moderate Democrat who is expected to face a tough re-election campaign this year, called the proposal "a robust package that balances the needs of strong, meaningful reform and recognizes the needs of these markets."
"This bill will bring 100 percent transparency to a currently unregulated, dark market," she said.
The House has passed its version of a finance reform bill, and now Democrats seek to bring a Senate version up for chamber debate.
The bill approved by Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee would set up new regulatory oversight of financial industry practices with the goal of preventing another Wall Street meltdown like the one in 2008 that launched the U.S. recession.
It includes an "early warning" system intended to spot signs of another crisis, as well as a $50 billion liquidation fund created with money from banks and other finance industry corporations to ensure an orderly transition in closing down failing entities.
The GOP will cave on this one.....American public is in favor of this reform by at least 60-40. GOP's unwillingness to support it would slow down their momentum to try to re-capture one of the houses of Congress
Too late! That's not going to do a thing for me and all the other 15 million Americans already unemployed as a result of their neglience to reign in these greedy people on Wall Street. I was one of them by the way, with different values of course which made me an outlier.
Forget them ; truth is, congress and the SEC are not sophisticated enough to legislate/ oversee these reckless people
What I want to know is; will congress extend unemployment benefits beyond the 99 wks. We the "99 ers" have exhausted our benefits with still no jobs to be had! This is very dire for me and my family. Where is Brianna Keilar when you need her to cover this issue? Girl please get on this, This is an emergency for the hundreds of thousands of us.
What a bunch of morons. These Senators could give a flip about the everyday Joe/Jane. They really only care about their money and their power. Smoke and mirrors baby, smoke and mirrors.
At least Grassley tries to do what is in the best interests of the country.
isnt politics just amazing..I guess Mr McConnell unplugged those jumper cables from you know where...for a little while... after he caught in a lie!!!
Thank you Mr. Grassley for coming to your senses and putting people ahead of party.
If only all of Congress would wake up and start doing the same (both sides of the aisle, on lots of issues). We might see PROgress instead of CONgress.
Mr McConnell and Mr Boerner – do you care about the issues that affecting the majority of the American Tax Payers – or do you care for the its affect with the special interest groups more than to the common tax payers? – for the amount of paychecks you take home and benefits you receive – you both have perform poorly in doing your jobs.
You should either find another line of work or I will vote to get you out.
In corporate world, I would have fired you long ago. You are a disgrace to the Republicans !
That sounds great!
Pres Obama and all the staff and most Democrats have always tried to have everyone at the "table".
The GOP has alwasy turned the "table " over....while saying,NO.
It is about time "they" decided that the people as a whole where sick and tired of their actions..........voteing is soon................................