After voting for a second time on a motion to invoke cloture and limit debate, the Senate was able to pass the motion in a vote of 60-40 and thus, late last night pass the Senate version of Wall Street Reform: Restoring American Financial Stability (S 3217). The House passed it’s version in December (HR 4173).
Highlights of the Senate bill include:
- Create of a new regulator that would be responsible for protecting and keeping consumers properly informed when exploring mortgage, credit card and other financial product options.
- Prevent bailouts of large financial firms using taxpayer dollars by creating a more formal process for dismantling companies on the verge of collapse.
- Establish a council to monitor identify and address potential risks of large companies, products and activities before they become a threat to the stability of the economy.
- Provide additional transparency and accountability measures for regulating the derivatives market.
- Increase supervision of banks while protecting the dual banking system that supports community banks.
- Grant shareholders say on pay and corporate affairs with a non-binding vote on executive compensation.
- Protect investors and businesses by establishing tough new rules for transparency and accountability for credit rating agencies.
The Senate and the House measures will now go to conference committee where Senate and House leaders will work together to reconcile the two. The timeline for releasing a joint bill is currently set for before the Fourth of July holiday but, there are several differences between the two bills that are likely going to require more discussion time than initially anticipated, possibly delaying the Fourth of July goal.