April 21st, 2010
10:56 AM ET
13 years ago

Senate committee debates Wall Street reform bill

Washington (CNN) - A Senate committee began debate Wednesday on another piece of legislation aimed at protecting the economy from future meltdowns and taxpayers from more Wall Street bailouts.

The measure before the Senate Agricultural Committee would impose regulations on the complex system of Wall Street trades known as derivatives. It would be merged with a financial regulations reform measure already passed by the Senate Banking Committee that is headed for debate by the full chamber.

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.

Filed under: Financial Reform
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. diridi

    what debate...bull. Dont we see yester day, Berns and sterns, and today, Goldman sachs....Are we blind...Barak, please pass this nation's dire need, financial reform....I know, you get lot of hurdles from idiots, and thugs, like Mitch McConnol, Mitt Romney, and John Boenher, etc, Eric canter, etc...just ignore these idiots...ok, god bless, you and the USA!!!!!

    April 21, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "I'm heartened to hear that bipartisan talks have resumed in earnest."

    You're such a hypocrite Mitch. You were all set to kill this bill as well. Who do you work for? Since the republican senator from Tennessee debunked your accusations about this bill, now you want to play ball. You are not attempting to be bipartisan like some of your republican colleagues.

    April 21, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Steph

    I still don't understand how a fund created with bank money equals "endless bailouts with taxpayer money". Is seems the exact opposite!

    Endless bailouts is to financial reform as death panels were to health reform.

    April 21, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Someone needs to tell Beaker to shut up or go back to just meeping.

    April 21, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Brink

    It is impossible to ignore the irony of Mitch McConnell uttering the word "bipartisan". I would think that he would fear being hit by a lightning bolt.

    April 21, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Independant Thinker

    "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..........

    And just where would we be, Mr. McConnell, if you hadn't gotten busted about your meeting with the "Gurus of Wallstreet?"
    I think we all know the answer to that one.

    The bailout in this bill is "self-funded" by the financial industry NOT the Taxpayers. Your argument never held water.

    At some point......everybody needs to retire. Right, Mr. McConnell?

    April 21, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Dr. Virginia Lubell

    We don't have a Federal problem about Transnationals. We have an International problem. Since the mid-1980s Transnationals have been permitted to go where they want and do what they want 'without government restriction'. This is what must be stopped.

    Americans have been told that these financial problems started in the US. That's not entirely accurate. Every developed country has had a housing bubble. Every bank has flogged inappropriate mortgages and all financial institutions are selling Derivatives and other wonky financial instruments.

    All Transnationals ... whether seed, media, energy, financial (and the rest) must be broken up.

    We no longer live with competitive capitalism. We live in merged/acquired Corporatism and vast monopolies.

    April 21, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...ensure without any doubt that this bill won't put taxpayers on the hook for future bailouts of Wall Street banks..."

    McConnell is a FOOL!!! Just to make it seem as if they are 'compromising' when in reality they want to shout "Hell No You Can't", they insert that stupid statement above!!! They know DOGGONE well that is not going to stick!!!

    April 21, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. John Libertarian from NY

    Transparency is needed but not aanother governement agency unless they create one and eliminate 4-5.

    April 21, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. AJ in Florida

    So the republicans were for giving Wallstreet 700+ billions in baillouts, Obama continued it, but they are blaming the Dems for it. Yet, they are reading a "script" written by someone who was wrong on the healthcare bill – now law.

    They believed the script so much that they met with wallstreet execs (bringin along the Rep. fundraiser-in-chief), promising to block the current bill. Now that's representation you can count on.

    Then again, CNN will not post this.

    April 21, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    "A compromise is possible", in other words, he's worried about getting his butt kicked.

    April 21, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Dave

    If there is any move to give the Federal Reserve more power in this reform bill then we are doomed. They are all working this together. It is a well crafted dupe going on.

    April 21, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Finding a Rock to hide under.

    They scream about reform and use Goldman Sachs as their whipping post. Yet the White House Chief Counsel is defending Goldman Sachs against the SEC.

    They seek to give Obama and a Tax Evading Treasury Secretary the unrestricted power to take over a financial institution without proof of evidence or Judicial oversight.

    This whole bunch of criminals in the White House and Senate needs to be jailed and prosecuted. The scariest thing about all this corruption in DC is it would take a military takeover to clean it all up.

    April 21, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Yvette

    That's all we need is another Gov't agency to oversite the numerous Gov't regulatory agencies already "so-called" in place. This is nothing but a ruse for the media to give President Obama a "so-call" BIG WIN! You people (media) are so transparent!!!!

    April 21, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Terry from West Texas

    So Conservatives are willing to compromise in the interest of the American people as long as no more bailouts are possible?

    Q: How can you tell if a Conservative is lying?
    A: If he is breathing.

    Democrats must simply ignore Conservatives and try to overcome their strategy of blind opposition purely in the interests of political power.

    To the Conservative mind, politics is like football. Your goal is to win. That is very dysfunctional. The goal of politics in a democracy is the security and prosperity of the nation. The goal of politics is to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number.

    April 21, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |