Friday, December 11, 2009

Financial reform bill passes U.S. House

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Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 | 5:03 PM ET Comments6Recommend11CBC News

The U.S. House of Representatives passed sweeping changes to financial regulation Friday.

The bill includes the most extensive reforms in business oversight since the New Deal.

The bill would govern every financial player from the smallest payday loan company to Wall Street traders. (CBC)

It empowers the government to break up companies that threaten the economy, creates an agency to oversee consumer banking transactions, and increases disclosure requirements by companies that operate in previously unregulated financial markets.

The vote of 223-202 went largely along party lines. No Republican voted for while 27 Democrats voted against.

Coming a year after Wall Street bank failures plunged the country into a financial crisis, passage of the bill is a win for the White House. Still, the legislation waters down some of President Barack Obama's recommendations.

The next step is up to the Senate, which is not expected to act on its version of a regulatory overhaul until early next year.

If passed into law, the changes would affect every financial institution from the smallest payday loan company to Wall Street traders dealing in complex derivatives. The bill also proposes a consumer protection agency whose powers would pre-empt those of current banking regulators, something big banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vigorously opposed.

Democrats said the law would help address the shortfalls that led to the financial crisis while Republicans argued it would institutionalize bailouts for the financial industry.

With files from The Associated Press

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/12/11/us-houses-passes-financial-reform-bill.html

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Report Results on Phone Banking Project (Get-out-the-vote for Virginia General Elections Nov. 3 and Financial Reform)

General statistics:
i. VVA made a total of 953 calls
ii. 85% of respondents said they will vote on Nov. 3
iii. about 70% were in favor of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA)
iv. 61% of respondents said they would not call Sen. Warner to express their support of the CFPA

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