Tester’s amendment approved as Wall Street reform plan clears first hurdle

Proposal to ‘put refs back on Wall Street’ heads to full Senate

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – A key Senate panel today cleared a plan to reform Wall Street after approving a provision by Senator Jon Tester to keep Montana’s individual insurance agents and brokers from being bogged down by time-consuming red tape and paperwork.

The Senate Banking Committee approved the Wall Street reform bill today.  The bill now goes to the full Senate for debate and a vote.

The Wall Street reform bill would establish an Office of National Insurance to monitor insurance practices in states.  The office would not interfere with the current state-based system of insurance regulation.

Tester’s amendment ensures that individual agents, brokers, and adjusters would not have to go through the hassle of providing reporting information to the Office of National Insurance.

“This is about making sure individual folks making a living in Montana aren’t subject to new burdens as a result of problems that they didn’t create,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Banking Committee.  “It’s time we close the curtain on the era of ‘too big to fail’ and make Wall Street accountable to Main Street and rural America.”

Tester has also worked to ensure that Montana’s community banks and credit unions are not subject to new examination and enforcement rules, arguing Montana’s small banks “lived within their means” and were not responsible for the financial crisis.

“I do not believe Montana’s community banks and credit unions caused the economic crisis, and I do not believe they should have to pay for the sins of Wall Street,” Tester said.

Tester is the only Senate Democrat who voted against both the bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry.

The Senate Wall Street reform bill, which incorporates ideas from both sides of the aisle:

  • Ends the notion of “too big to fail” on Wall Street – and the bailouts that come with it;
  • Puts referees back on Wall Street, to make sure Wall Street plays by the rules;
  • Protects Main Street consumers and taxpayers from bad actors on Wall Street;
  • Sets up a warning system to address problems before they threaten to bring down the entire U.S. economy.

Tester has posted the Wall Street reform bill on his website at tester.senate.gov/legislation.