Wednesday, Congressman Joe Donnelly supported the Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act designed to hold Wall Street and big banks accountable while protecting consumers and investors. The legislation, which is an agreement between the House and Senate on how to regulate our financial industry, includes amendments authored by Donnelly as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
“Wall Street’s bad behavior led us to the brink of economic collapse in the fall of 2008, leading to a tough vote on whether or not to save our economy,” said Donnelly. “I said it then and I will say it now: ‘Never again.’ Never again will Americans be asked to intervene on behalf of an irresponsible financial industry in order to protect our nation’s economy from collapse. I’m proud to have been part of the process of drafting this legislation and to support it today because it’s long past time we held Wall Street and big banks accountable. Doing that also requires strengthening oversight of financial firms and empowering the regulators the people have entrusted with cracking down on Wall Street’s risky behaviors that lead to the crisis. This bill puts in place common-sense rules so that the hard work of Hoosier families and small businesses is never again put in jeopardy by those who put greed ahead of integrity.”
The bill includes many of the same provisions included in the House version of the legislation that Donnelly supported last December, including:
- Protecting Hoosier consumers by ensuring that bank loans, mortgages, and credit cards are fair, affordable, understandable, and transparent through the creation of a new, independent watchdog.
- Ending “too big to fail” bailouts with new procedures to unwind failing companies that pose the greatest risk – ending the possibility that taxpayers will be asked to write a check to bail out financial firms that threaten the economy.
- Protecting American investors with tough new rules for transparency and accountability for credit rating agencies.
- Strengthening regulations already on the books by empowering regulators to aggressively pursue financial fraud, conflicts of interest, and manipulation of the system that benefits special interests at the expense of working families and small businesses.
Donnelly offered three amendments while the bill was still in the House Financial Services Committee last fall that were included in the final bill. The first amendment ensures that an office created within the Securities Exchange Commission to regulate credit rating agencies is given the necessary staff and broad rulemaking authority needed to perform its duties properly.
In addition, Donnelly offered an amendment that will prevent the FDIC from being used in the future to purchase equity shares of troubled banks during a rescue attempt and, instead, ensure that the FDIC is used only to protect customers’ savings and smoothly resolve failing banks.
Finally, Donnelly offered an amendment to clarify that manufactured housing retailers are not subject to the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency’s authority. Manufactured housing sellers did not participate in the kind of predatory lending that other mortgage originators did. The amendment will ensure that manufactured housing retailers who act in their traditional capacity of selling homes will not face an undue burden that could increase costs for consumers.
To read a one page summary of the highlights of the Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, click here.
The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 237 to 192 and is now pending before the Senate.