Senate Begins Approving Financial Reform Amendments

Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:18pm

The Senate cast decisive votes on back-to-back amendments to the financial regulatory reform bill Wednesday, approving both with nearly unanimous support after a weeklong delay to even consider proposals to the bill.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) amendment to ban taxpayer bailouts, the first amendment considered in the financial reform debate, was approved on a 96-1 vote, with Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) serving as the lone “no” vote.

An amendment by Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) setting up new rules to wind down failing banks was approved 93-5.

“After weeks of negotiations, months really if you consider all of the work that has gone on on this piece of legislation over the last year, I am proud to say that the two of us have an agreement in this area,” Dodd said just before the floor vote.

Shelby called his amendment “a huge improvement to where we were 18 months ago.”

Earlier Wednesday, Democratic leaders blasted Republicans for holding up consideration of the financial reform bill, which has been the product of bipartisan negotiations for months and which could pass the chamber next week. Issues still remain, however, on how best to regulate the derivatives market and where to house a newly created consumer protection agency. The Senate is expected to work through a host of other amendments this week and next.

The Senate unanimously approved a handful of other amendments to the bill Wednesday and confirmed three judicial nominees: Gloria Navarro, nominated to the district court of Nevada, was confirmed on a 98-0 vote; Nancy Freudenthal, nominated to the district court of Wyoming, was confirmed on a 96-1 vote; and Denzil Marshall, nominated to the eastern district of Arkansas, was confirmed unanimously.