Reforming Wall Street

Holding Wall Street Accountable – Standing Up for Washington Families

Wall Street Reform

Wall Street Reform Bill Amendments Wall Street Reform News Releases

Wall Street’s reckless behavior has cost families across Washington state far too much.

  • It’s cost us over 150,000 jobs.

  • It's costs, on average, each Washington state family close to $6,000 in lost income.
  • It’s cost small businesses the access to credit they need to grow and hire.

  • It’s cost workers the retirement accounts they were counting on to carry them through their golden years.

  • It’s cost students the college savings that would help launch their careers.

  • It’s cost homeowners the value of their most important asset as neighborhoods have been decimated by foreclosures.

  • It’s cost our schoolteachers, our police officers, and our communities.

 That’s why I believe that we must pass a strong Wall Street Reform bill that holds Wall Street accountable for their reckless behavior, provides the strongest consumer protections for Washington families ever enacted, and guarantees that taxpayers never again have to bail out Wall Street.

People across Washington state who have scrimped and saved, who made the best with what they had, have been hurt through no fault of their own. People who played by the rules have paid the price for those on Wall Street who didn’t. It’s time to end a system that leaves Washington families at risk.

That’s why I will be working to pass the Restoring American Financial Stability Act which will:

  • End Taxpayer Bailouts.  As long as giant financial firms believe the government will bail them out if they get into trouble, they only have the incentive to get larger and take bigger risks.  This bill guarantees that taxpayers will never again be forced to bail out reckless Wall Street firms by creating a safe orderly liquidation mechanism for the FDIC to unwind failing significant financial companies; shareholders and unsecured creditors will bear losses; and management will be removed.

  • End “Too Big To Fail.”  The bill provides for strict new capital, leverage, liquidity, risk management and other requirements as companies grow in size and complexity, with significant requirements on companies that pose risks to the financial system. The Federal Reserve will be authorized, as a last resort, to require a large complex company, to divest some of its holdings if it poses a grave threat to the financial stability of the United States. 

  • Put a New Cop on The Beat.  The bill establishes the Financial Stability Oversight Council to focus on identifying, monitoring and addressing systemic risks posed by large, complex financial firms as well as products and activities that spread risk across firms. 

  • Bring Sunlight and Transparency to Shadowy Markets.  The legislation eliminates loopholes that allow risky and abusive practices to go unnoticed and unregulated – including loopholes for over-the-counter derivatives, asset-backed securities, hedge funds, mortgage brokers and payday lenders.

  • Give Families the Tools to take Personal Responsibility for their Financial Decisions. The bill includes badly needed improvements to our nation’s financial literacy programs . It will help ensure that we are giving families access to programs that will help them understand the consequences and terms involved in important financial decisions. We simply can’t ignore the fact that millions of Americans walked into - sometimes predatory home loan agencies - all across the country unprepared to make big, important financial decisions.

  • Guarantee Clear Information in Plain English.  The bill creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will have the sole job of protecting American consumers from unfair, deceptive and abusive financial products and practices and will ensure people get the clear information they need on loans and other financial products from credit card companies, mortgage brokers, banks and others.

  • Protect Against Bernie Madoff-Type Scams.  The SEC has failed to perform aggressive oversight and is unable to understand some of the very companies it is supposed to regulate.  This bill creates a program within the SEC to encourage people to report securities violations and mandates an annual assessment of the SEC’s internal supervisory controls.  The bill also establishes a new Office of Credit Rating Agencies at the SEC to strengthen regulation of credit rating agencies, many of which failed in the past to warn people about risks hidden throughout layers of complex structures.

I will also be working to pass several amendments that strengthen and improve the bill including three amendments I will personally introduce:

  • State Regulator Membership on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (3754) This amendment allows state regulators to be included in the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). This amendment ensures that the needs of our struggling community banks are taken into account as the FSOC considers very important issues affecting financial firms, the industry and the economy overall.

  • Deposit Cap Loophole (3753) This amendment would prohibit the largest banks from growing even larger by purchasing thrift assets.  A loophole currently exists that allows banks to break through the nationwide 10% deposit cap that was put in place in the Riegle Neal Interstate Branching Act of 1994 by purchasing thrift assets.  This amendment would close that loophole. This will help prevent the big banks from growing even bigger by closing this loophole.  This amendment strengthens the goal of preventing entities from becoming “Too-Big-to-Fail”.

  • Transfers of Exam Fees (3752) This amendment strikes a provision that would allow the OCC to siphon funds the FDIC raises through examination fees on state-chartered banks, to subsidize the cost of examination of the bigger, nationally-chartered banks.  This is nothing more than an unearned subsidy for nationally-chartered banks.  This provision does not enhance safety and soundness or improve the FDIC’s ability to manage the deposit insurance fund.  It will make the state-charter less attractive.  It is opposed by our community banks and by our state banking regulator.  Our community banks shouldn’t be subsidizing the big national banks.  This will prevent increased fees and charges on households and businesses that bank with our community banks.