News Release

Historic Wall Street Reform Ready For Final Passage

For Immediate Release

AUSTIN, July 15 - Responding to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Senate this morning passed a motion to proceed (“cloture vote,” with 60 “Yes” votes required) on the Wall Street reform legislation.

As early as this evening, the Senate will vote on the conference report on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, HR 4173, which already passed the House. Depending on how long the Senate debates the bill, the “virtually automatic” final vote will occur either later today or by Saturday at the latest. The bill reins in Wall Street and protects consumers, investors, and taxpayers from further financial meltdowns. 

“TexPIRG applauds the vote of Senator WHOZIT for standing up for Main Street in the face of some 2,000 Wall Street lobbyists who spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 18 months to weaken reforms targeting the practices that sparked the financial mess they caused for consumers and taxpayers,” said Melissa Cubria, Advocate of TexPIRG.

The new Bureau will not regulate predatory car dealer practices, but a last-minute compromise gives the Federal Trade Commission new authority over car dealers who initiate loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is certainly the biggest consumer protection bill since the creation of deposit insurance after the 1929 crash.

“And the CFPB – passed despite the public efforts of all the banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to kill it – is not the only grand achievement of the Congress. The bill’s new regulation of the shadow markets for derivatives, for example, was strengthened in conference committee, which is something that rarely happens,” Cubria continued.

Ed Mierzwinski, Director of the Consumer Program of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington who worked tirelessly for over a year to get strong consumer protections into the bill said last minute changes to the conference report’s budgetary mechanism appeased several Senators who had opposed an earlier conference report. 

“We thank Majority Leader Reid, Senator Dodd and the Senate leadership for their commitment to meaningful reform that puts consumers and taxpayers ahead of the self-interest of the banks,” said Mierzwinski.

“We thank Senators Brown (MA), Snowe and Collins for rising above Washington’s partisan divide and standing with the American people in making possible an open and more secure financial future for all Americans. Final passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will help consumers and the economy recover from the financial meltdown that cost millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in home and retirement fund value,” added Mierzwinski. 

“We look forward to working with the President and the Congress to implement these reforms and to continue to seek additional protections for consumers, taxpayers and investors,” he concluded.

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