News Releases

WALL STREET REFORM: Murray Criticizes Republican Attempts to Water Down Wall Street Reform as they Once Again Vote to Block Consideration of Bill

Apr 27 2010

Murray highlights overwhelming support for strong reforms among American people, Slams Wall Street and Republican efforts to weaken bill in speech on U.S. Senate floor



See more on Reforming Wall Street

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray delivered a speech on the U.S. Senate floor calling on Republicans to end efforts to delay Wall Street Reform legislation. In her speech, Murray highlighted Republican efforts to work with Wall Street to water down the bill to make it more acceptable to Wall Street.

“Instead of fundamentally changing the financial rules of the road the other side wants to build a speed bump,” Murray said in her speech.  “And pass a bill that neither reforms Wall Street nor protects Main Street.

“I fear that the obstruction and unwillingness to allow us to bring a bill to the floor is simply their push to get a watered down bill that big banks can simply side-step and ignore. A bill that has been rubber stamped by Wall Street lobbyists and signed off on by special interests.”

This afternoon, for the second time in a week, Republicans voted to block Wall Street Reform legislation  from even coming to the floor to be considered.

Senator Murray’s full remarks follow:

Madame President, yesterday afternoon we attempted to bring a bill to the floor that finally holds Wall Street accountable. A bill that includes the strongest protections for consumers ever enacted, an end to taxpayer bailouts, and tools to give individuals the resources they need to make smart financial decisions.

It’s a bill that ends Wall Street’s “anything goes” rules that have meant everyone else pays. Unfortunately, what the “no” vote from the other side did yesterday is it told us that they don’t want strong new protections that can’t be ignored.

It appears that they don’t want to hold Wall Street accountable for years of irresponsibility and taxpayer funded bailouts. Instead of fundamentally changing the financial rules of the road the other side wants to build a speed bump and pass a bill that neither reforms Wall Street nor protects Main Street.

I fear that the obstruction and unwillingness to allow us to bring a bill to the floor is simply their push to get a watered-down bill that big banks can simply side-step and ignore. A bill that has been rubber stamped by Wall Street lobbyists and signed off on by special interests.

I fear that the delay is really just an effort to figure out how they can preserve the status quo and talk their way out of change.  I fear that delay is really about allowing special interests in Washington and bankers on Wall Street to write a compromise bill,  And I worry that just about everybody has been invited to that table to write that bill except the American people.

And that’s because the vast majority of Americans want to see the strong Wall Street Reforms that we put forward passed.  In fact, just yesterday the Washington Post released a poll that shows that 63% of Americans want to see stronger regulations of Wall Street enacted.

But you know what - there is still a widely held view on Wall Street – and as yesterday’s vote shows – with many in this chamber - that the voices of the people can somehow be drowned out by big money and twisting the truth about what’s in this bill.

Wall Street still thinks they can get away with highway robbery, because for all too long… they have. They think that they can pull a fast one on Main Street. 

But I’m here to tell them they can’t…they’re flat out wrong. And I know because I got my values from Main Street.

Values like that a good transaction is one that’s good for your business and for your customer. And that an honest business is a successful one. That customers are not prey and businesses are not predators.

We learned that personal responsibility means owning up to your mistakes and making them right.

And believe me these values are strong throughout our country. They exist in small towns like the one I grew up in and big cities in every one of our states. And everyone who voted against moving forward with this bill yesterday going to hear from the people who still hold these values dear.

And I’m sure that they will tell you in no uncertain terms - it’s time to pass a bill with strong reforms for a system that is out of control. That it’s time to protect consumers, to end bailouts, to restore personal responsibility, and bring back accountability.

Madame President, I’m very hopeful that in the coming few days that all those who voted “no” will move forward with us and listen to the hard working men and women in this country so that we can put forward a strong reform bill and protect the American people and the millions of people who've lost their job and lost their security and lost their homes in the last few years from ever having this happen again. Thank you.