(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement following Senate passage of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, a bill to protect consumers and end taxpayer bailouts once and for all. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 59-39.
“This bill provides Washington families with the strongest consumer protections in our history. It finally adjusts the playing field to put families and their finances before big banks, credit card companies and mortgage lenders. And it guarantees that Washington taxpayers will never be on the hook to bail out Wall Street again.
“I have heard from so many people across our state whose stories demonstrate the need for us to act. Families facing foreclosure due to mortgage fraud, seniors who have lost their retirement savings, small businesses that can’t hire because they can’t borrow, and those who have lost everything due to Wall Street’s ‘anything goes’ rules. These families deserve not only accountability, they deserve protection. Standing by and doing nothing is not an option.
“This bill encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own finances and it protects them from rip-offs and unfair fees. And it says once and for all that if Wall Street falters, Wall Street is responsible for cleaning up the mess.
“This is about fundamental fairness. It’s a about whether when you walk into a bank to sign up for a mortgage, or apply for a credit card, or start a retirement plan – are the rules on your side, or are they with the big banks on Wall Street? For far too long the financial rules of the road have favored Wall Street. Today we have turned the tide.”
The Wall Street Reform bill passed today includes the strongest consumer protections ever provided for Washington state families including:
- A guarantee that Washington state taxpayers will never be responsible for baling out Wall Street again.
- A brand new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help expose big bank rip-offs, end unfair fees, curb out-of-control credit card and mortgage rates, and be a new “cop on the beat” to safeguard consumers.
- Strong new regulations of Wall Street’s dark markets that were utilized to gamble with the savings of Washington families.
- Enhanced authority for bank regulators to improve transparency and oversight of banks.
- Protections for small businesses from unfair transaction fees imposed by credit card companies.
- A new consumer advocate focused on protecting service members and their families who are too often the target of predatory lending.
- New accountability and transparency for the Federal Reserve.
- Limitations on excessive compensation for Wall Street executives.
- Tools to help promote financial literacy to ensure that families take personal responsibility for their finances.
- Restrictions on banks to keep them from making risky loans that endanger the financial system.
- Tough new rules to prevent banks from engaging in risky proprietary trading (The Volker Rule).