S.3217: Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
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This is the Democrats' financial regulatory reform bill. It seeks to address the regulatory lapses that lead to the crisis of 2008 and fix the problem of "too big to fail" that necessitated the bailouts. It would create a process for the government to seize and break up failing financial firms, create a new consumer protection agency specifically for financial products, reform the derivatives market, and more.
May 20, 2010 Vote on H.R.4173After the House passed its financial reform bill, H.R.4173, the Senate voted to add a substitute amendment to it. The text of H.R.4173 was replaced with that of S.3217.
May 13, 2010 Vote on the Durbin AmendmentThe Durbin amendment would allow the Fed to regulate interchange fees (the money taken from merchants by debit companies when purchases are made with debit cards).
May 13, 2010 Votes on Credit Rating Agency AmendmentsOne amendment, put forth by Al Franken, would form a new organization within the Securities and Exchange Commission to assign an agency to a financial product. It would reward the more accurate agencies, and prevent banks from "shopping around" for the best rating. The other amendment, put forth by George LeMieux and Maria Cantwell, would eliminate the label of "nationally recognized statistical rating organizations." Currently, ten rating agencies are categorized as such, and they are depended on under certain rules (for example some mutual funds can only invest in securities with A ratings from a "nationally recognized statistical rating organizations").
May 11, 2010 Votes on Fannie and Freddie AmendmentsAn amendment put forth by John McCain would have released Fannie and Freddie Mac from the government's control, and required them to try to survive in the free market. It was defeated, with only two Democrats (Evan Bayh and Russ Feingold) voting with the Republicans in favor of it. An amendment put forth by Chris Dodd would require the Secretary of the Treasury to study and make recommendations to Congress on ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The amendment passed, with all Democrats (besides Russ Feingold) and six Republicans voting for it.
May 11, 2010 Vote on Merkley AmendmentThe amendment, introduced by Jeff Merkley would prohibit mortgage brokers and loan originators from receiving bonuses for steering borrowers into more expensive loans and set up stronger underwriting standards to help ensure that borrowers will be able to repay their loan.
May 11, 2010 Votes on Auditing the FedAn amendment proposed by Bernie Sanders would allow the Government Accountabilty Office to audit the Fed and its actions from 1 December 2007 to the present, but only once. The amendment passed 96-0. An amendment propsed by David Vitter would have opened the Fed up to audits in perpetuity. It was rejected 37-62.
May 6, 2010 Vote on Brown AmendmentThe Brown amendment was a version of the SAFE Banking Act sponsored by Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman. It would have placed strict size caps on banks and non-bank financial companies (in practical terms, it would have forced the breaking up of some of the Wall Street corporations). Chris Dodd called it up suddenly for a snap vote, and it failed 33-61.
May 5, 2010 Vote on Liquidation AmendmentsThe Shelby-Dodd amendment removed the liquidation fund that Republicans said would be used in the future for bailouts. It passed 93-5. The Boxer amendment sought to ensure that the government will liquidate failing financial firms rather than bailing them out with taxpayer money. It also passed easily. 
Articles and resources
- ↑ Donny Shaw, "What's Next for Reforming Wall Street"
- ↑ Donny Shaw, Senate Votes to Rein in Debit Fees
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Annie Lowery, Two Credit Rating Agency Reforms Amended Into Dodd Bill
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Donny Shaw, [Dems Defeat a McCain Amendment to Wind Down Fannie and Freddie]
- ↑ Donny Shaw, FinReg Update -- What's Happened, What's Next
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Donny Shaw, Original Sanders Fed Audit Amendment WIll Get a Vote, In the Form of a Vitter Amendment
- ↑ Donny Shaw, A Failed Vote on Breaking up Banks
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Donny Shaw, Financial Reform Amendment Voting Begins