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House passes consumer protection bill

December 11, 2009
In The News

The House passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act -- meant to prevent the financial conditions that led to last year's economic collapse -- by a 223-202 vote Friday.

The Wisconsin delegation split along party lines, with four Dems vote for the bill and three Republicans voting against. U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, missed the floor vote after coming down with the H1N1 flu.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, told reporters in a conference call shortly after the vote that the bill would not crack down on local lenders, instead targeting the firms with more than $10 billion in assets that "got us into trouble a year ago."

"This legislation ensures that these so-called institutions that were considered 'too big to fail' will now be allowed to fail," Kind said.

Kind said in the bill provides greater oversight of the derivate and hedge fund markets, prohibits the "predatory lending" that sparked the subprime mortgage crisis, and limits lenders so that taxpayers won't have to bail out another "bad bet."

Kind added the bill would empower shareholders to have greater input into executive compensation packages. He said the board that currently oversee executive compensation are typically "very cozy" with companies' CEO and executives.

"The tools that we needed over a year ago ... didn't exist," Kind said. "This legislation will ensure that those tools will be available to us in the future."

Kind said he expects the Senate to roll out comparable legislation early next year.