Bennet: Wall Street Reform Clears Key Hurdle; Era of Bailouts, Big Bank Abuses Nearing An End

Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement on the heels of an agreement on the Wall Street reform conference report.  Wall Street reform includes important provisions sponsored by Bennet, including his Pay It Back amendment and his improvements protecting consumers from a broken credit rating agency system.

“Congress is now poised to pass groundbreaking, consumer protection reform that protects taxpayers from bank bailouts and the very practices on Wall Street that brought down the world’s most productive economy,” said Bennet.  “After months of hard work, we have a bill that is the strongest reform of Wall Street since the 1930’s—a bill that will end taxpayer-funded bailouts, bring more transparency and accountability to Wall Street and protect and empower Colorado consumers.”

The conference report included key language from the bipartisan Pay It Back Amendment, authored by Bennet to cut the size of the bailout fund known as TARP by $150 billion and prevent the Treasury Department from redirecting unused funds for new programs.  It would also ensure that repaid banking, housing and auto bailout funds, totaling more than $180 billion to date, are used to pay down the deficit, not fund further spending.  

“The package includes my Pay It Back Plan so that taxpayers who were forced to bring the big Wall Street banks back from the brink of collapse are now assured that the bailout fund is being wound down,” continued Bennet. “This amendment will ensure that paid back bailout funds will be used to pay down the deficit, so our kids aren’t saddled with a debt Washington is unable to pay.”

The conference report must now be approved by both chambers of Congress and sent to the President’s desk for signature into law.