Senate Votes Down Broad Attack on State Enforcement of Wall Street Reforms

Media Contacts
Elizabeth Weyant

Statement from MASSPIRG Staff Attorney Elizabeth Weyant

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted down a broad crippling amendment offered by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to the Wall Street Reform bill.  The amendment would have given the federal government sweeping ability to preempt or override states’ capacity to protect their own residents from dangerous and deceptive practices of banks and other financial institutions, while taking state Attorneys General off the corporate crime beat.

Given that federal regulators completely failed to recognize lending problems that led to the economic meltdown, it is absolutely clear we need more cops on the financial fraud beat.  State Attorneys General are on the front lines.  The attack on stronger state laws and enforcement was one of the most dangerous threats to the bill’s critical consumer protection provisions. 

We applaud Senators Brown and Kerry for standing up for consumers and voting against the Corker amendment.  Their leadership is a significant step forward for consumers in the Commonwealth.

After weeks of fending off attempts by Wall Street and the big banks to weaken and gut the bill, the time has come for the Senate to finish the job and to vote for its final passage.  We urge Senators Brown and Kerry to continue their leadership on consumer protection and vote for a strong final bill.