01.14.15

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on House Vote to Weaken Financial Reforms

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement today on H.R. 37, which will weaken Wall Street financial reforms and further delay the Volcker Rule:

“Today I call on my colleagues in the House of Representatives to oppose H.R. 37, a bill to weaken important financial reforms included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd-Frank. The painful lessons of the financial crisis are still fresh in the minds of many working families in Wisconsin—it’s easy to remember losing your job, home, or retirement savings. Unfortunately, the Wall Street bankers largely responsible for the crisis and their Republican allies in Congress have much shorter memories. They have wasted no time working to let Wall Street write their own rules and put at risk the economic security of the middle class who are working hard to get ahead.

“This bill would further delay implementation of the Volcker Rule, a provision needed to prevent banks from making high-risk, high-reward bets backed with taxpayer money. In December I expressed my disappointment when the Federal Reserve delayed part of the rule’s implementation by two years. As if that wasn’t enough, H.R. 37 extends the delay two more years, until 2019.

“Shortly after I was first elected to Congress in 1998, at a time when both parties were supporting de-regulation of the financial industry, I voted against letting Wall Street and the big banks write their own rules and I was one of only a handful of members of Congress who voted no on repealing the Glass-Steagall Act. Economists of various backgrounds have blamed the repeal for exacerbating the 2008 financial crisis. The Volcker Rule is Glass-Steagall for the 21st century. In 2010, I supported Dodd-Frank because hard working, middle-class families paid a steep price for the reckless actions of Wall Street running our economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression. We cannot wait for further delays. I sincerely hope that Congress rejects this bill so that we do not look back on this vote as many have looked back at the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999.”