Sen. Grassley explains he voted no on financial reform to achieve a better bill

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, April 26 – Senator Chuck Grassley issued the comment below about his Monday evening vote against cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3217, the financial regulatory reform bill. Grassley is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which has jurisdiction over derivatives.

“My vote tonight was to send a signal that this legislation should be written to achieve broad-based bipartisan support.

“I support transparency and accountability with derivatives, and voted for the Lincoln bill in committee to achieve that kind of needed reform.

“I have concerns about the rest of the bill that’s on the floor, however, and hope that the Democratic leadership of the Senate will work for legislation that has substantial bipartisan support and achieves meaningful reform of the status quo.

“The proposed bank fund in the pending bill would lead to more government bailouts at taxpayer expense. The proposed consumer protection agency would create a new federal bureaucracy, potentially undermining the role of other agencies to protect the safety and soundness of our financial system. Instead, we should be making the expensive bureaucracies we already have do a better job and hold them accountable for performance. I’ve been working to require hedge fund registration since 2007, but the language in the pending bill has a loophole that could make the provision ineffective for investors, including pension funds nationwide. The bill also contains a provision that I’ve publicly opposed before because it could politicize the inspectors general who are supposed to serve as non-partisan watchdogs at financial regulatory agencies.

“At this point, the bill is a missed opportunity to reform Fannie and Freddie, which were in the middle of the financial crisis, and to limit the authority of the Federal Reserve which, in the last two and a-half years, has gone far beyond what was viewed as its historical authority. The Fed bailouts make the TARP bailout look small by comparison, yet there’s no accountability for taxpayers.”

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