Tester hails passage of final Wall Street Reform Bill

Bipartisan bill will strengthen community banks, end taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today hailed the Senate’s passage of the final Wall Street Reform Bill, saying it will strengthen Montana’s community banks and credit unions, protect investors and families, and permanently end taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street.

 “This reform finally gets rid of the notion that any private company can somehow be ‘too big to fail,’” said Tester, the only Senate Democrat to have voted against both bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry.  “I don’t believe in bailouts.  But I do believe in making sure folks are playing by the same rules.”

The reform bill creates an independent consumer protection bureau to go after “bad actors” and to require all players to play by the same set of rules.  It also ends taxpayer-funded bailouts by forcing Wall Street banks to pay for their own liquidation should they fail.

The final, bipartisan bill includes a specific provision by Tester to ensure that America’s smaller community banks only pay their fair share for federal deposit insurance.  All but two banks in Montana are considered community banks.

Tester, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, also included language requiring the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to consider the impact of all rules on community banks and credit unions, and the rural customers they serve, before any rules are made.

The Wall Street Reform Bill also:

  • Streamlines regulation so that regulators are keeping their eye on the ball and are better able to understand and anticipate risk and prevent another financial disaster.
  • Eliminates loopholes that allow risky and abusive practices—including loopholes for over-the-counter derivatives, asset-backed securities, hedge funds and payday lenders.
  • Protects investors with tough new rules for transparency and accountability for credit rating agencies.

“This bill is a win for Main Street,” Tester told his colleagues on the Senate Floor.  “It holds Wall Street accountable and preserves the critical role community banks and credit unions have in strengthening communities, creating jobs, and building small businesses.  That’s important because Montana families rely on their community banks to finance and grow their businesses and farms, pay their bills, and to help put their kids through school.”

A video of Tester’s floor speech is online HERE.

A summary of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is available online HERE.  Text of the entire legislation is online HERE.

The measure, which passed with a bipartisan vote of 60-39, now goes to the President to be signed into law.