Tonight, the House begins consideration of HR 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This comprehensive financial regulation reform bill will enact common-sense reforms including ending bailouts by helping ensure taxpayers are never again on the hook for Wall Street's risky behavior and bad bets; protecting families' retirement funds, college savings, and homes and businesses' financial futures from unnecessary risk by Wall Street lenders and speculators and high-paid corporate executives; protecting consumers from predatory lending abuses, fine print, and industry gimmicks; and finally bringing transparency and accountability to a financial system that has run amok.
Yesterday, the Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy in strong support of the bill saying:
The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 4173. The President has called on the Congress to enact far-reaching financial reform legislation to overhaul the nation's financial system in the wake of the financial collapse last year, setting forth clear objectives and principles that were endorsed by Congressional leaders. Financial reform is critical: to put in place rules that will allow the nation's markets to promote innovation while discouraging abuse; to create a framework in which markets can function freely and fairly, without the fragility in which normal business cycles bring the risk of financial collapse; and to provide a system that works for businesses and consumers.
At the beginning of debate tonight, Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) addressed some of the Republican complaints including that the bill is “too many pages” and some of their myths such as that the legislation creates a “credit czar” and that the bill is a “bailout” explaining that his “there will be a certain amount of fantasy on the floor of the House as [Republicans] lament the existence of things that aren’t here”:
Chairman Frank:This notion that the value of a piece of legislation is inversely related to its size is rather odd, but let me tell you how they manage to slim down…they don’t do anything in their bill about executive compensation. We say that the kind of bonuses and large payments to take risks and not be penalized if they fail, we have language in there to stop that–they don’t. We say let’s ban the kind of subprime loans. We have a lot of language to ban subprime loans. They don’t–save some more pages. We do regulation in other ways that they don’t do. They don’t have registration of hedge funds. They don’t have requirements of private advisers. So it is true, if you avoid subjects, you shrink the size of the bill.
Subcommittee Chairman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) breaks down how the legislative language that Republicans are disingenuously claiming is a ‘bailout fund’ works and why he supports the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:
Watch the debate this evening on CSPAN or CSPAN.org»
Learn more about the legislation: