Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guest Post - Backroom Deals or Open Debate?

I’m writing to give you an update about what’s happening with the Wall Street reform bill. Republicans are continuing to help the Wall Street lobbyists by blocking the Wall Street reform bill, preferring backdoor negotiations over an open debate on the floor. While they play their obstructionist games, many Senate Democrats are waiting in the wings to introduce amendments that will strengthen the current bill. Senator Levin and I plan to introduce our bill that will put into practice the Volcker Rule, effectively banning high-risk trading inside the banks which power up the economy by lending to families and businesses. In addition, the bill eliminates the practice of firms betting against their own clients.

Now, I’m not saying that high-risk speculation doesn’t have a place in our financial system – I just don’t want those risky bets to blow up the banks that families and businesses depend on for loans, especially during an economic recession. There’s nothing inherently wrong with collecting fireworks, but you wouldn’t want to store them in your living room!

Of course, before my amendment or anyone else’s can be up for debate, at least a few Republicans will have to decide to protect the financial foundations of our working families instead of seek closed door talks to water down the bill. Hopefully that will happen today.