Scott Brown On Wall Street Reform

Brown Forced Bank-Friendly Changes to Wall Street Reform

Brown Sought Provisions, Pushed By Banking Industry Lobbyists, to “Undercut a Central Pillar” of Wall Street Reform. While Wall Street Reform was in conference committee, Brown, other lawmakers, and banking industry lobbyists pushed for “provisions to undercut a central pillar of the legislation, known as the Volcker Rule, which would forbid banks from using their own money to make risky wagers on the market and would force them to sell off hedge funds and private equity units.” The changes would “benefit Boston-based money management giants like Fidelity Investments and State Street Corp. The biggest Wall Street firms would be helped as well.” [Boston Globe, 6/21/10]

Brown Secured A “Win For the Banks.” Senator Dodd released changes to the Volcker Rule “that appeared to meet the demands of Brown…It was a win for the banks, which would be permitted to invest up to 3 percent of their equity and hold up to 3 percent of a fund’s value. Some Democrats had argued against the exception, saying it would create a loophole that Wall Street was bound to exploit.” [Politico, 6/24/10]

Brown Said Elimination of Bank Tax Key to His Support of Wall Street Reform Bill. Brown “signed onto the legislation only after winning several changes that benefited Boston-based State Street Corp. and Springfield-based MassMutual. He also used his leverage as a key swing vote to force top House and Senate lawmakers, including House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank, to change how the bill is financed. ‘I appreciate the efforts to improve the bill, especially the removal of the $19 billion bank tax,’ Brown said yesterday in his statement. ‘As a result, it is a better bill than it was when this whole process started.’ [Boston Globe, 7/13/10]

Although He Now Claims Credit for Pushing Reform

Brown Said He Pushed Through Wall Street Reform Bill. “I worked very hard to make sure the banks didn’t act like casinos with our money. So the bill that she was apparently working on, I mean was able to work through as a result of her position – I worked on it, I voted on it, I pushed it through. The consumer agency that General Petreaus, Holly Petraeus is working on, when it comes to protecting military families, that’s my amendment. So who doesn’t want to protect the middle class? But there’s a difference however between talking and actually doing it. [NECN.com, 9/2/11]

Brown: I Supported the President on Dodd-Frank. “I’ve supported the President on a whole host of things. On his proposal to keep out taxes stable, and have unemployment benefits included. I’ve supported him on the Dodd-Frank bill. I can think of a whole host of things, so if I can find common ground I can do it.” [MyFox25, 9/2/11]

Brown Supported Weakening Wall Street Reform Bill

Brown “Appeared to Oppose” Creation of Consumer Protection Agency. According to the Boston Globe, Brown “appeared to oppose the creation of a consumer protection agency within the Federal Reserve. ‘It’s more government, it’s more government regulation at a time when businesses are trying just to pay their bills,’ he said. ‘Is that good? …If it’s an area we need to fix, then I’m certainly open to it. But I haven’t heard that that’s the biggest thing that’s problematic with it.’” [Boston Globe, 4/15/10]

Brown Voted For Amendment to Eliminate Key Provisions That Would Require Stricter Regulation of the Derivatives Market. Brown voted in favor of a Chambliss Amendment to the original Senate Wall Street reform bill. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported, “The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican attempt to strip pending banking-overhaul legislation of measures that would require stricter regulation of the derivatives market. The proposed regulations, written by Sen. Lincoln Blanche would “bring real reform to our nation’s financial markets,” the Democrat from Arkansas said after the late-afternoon vote. In a 59-39 vote, the Senate defeated an amendment offered by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, which would have removed key provisions of Lincoln’s plan. Two Republicans, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Olympia Snow of Maine crossed party lines to support Lincoln’s proposal.” [Vote #144, 5/12/10; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/13/10]

Brown Voted Against Amendment to Impose Leverage and Liability Limits on Bank Holding Companies. Brown voted against a Brown (OH) Amendment to the original Senate Wall Street reform bill. Tulsa World reported, “The Senate rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) that would have imposed leverage and liability limits on bank holding companies and financial companies. Proponents of the amendment said it would scale back the six largest banks, requiring them to spin off into smaller more manageable banks and to maintain sufficient capital to cover their debts. Opponents said the amendment didn’t focus on the level of interconnectedness and the risks institutions are taking, rather than the actual size of the firms. The vote Thursday was 33 yeas to 61 nays.” [Vote #136, 5/6/10; Tulsa World, 5/9/10]

Brown Voted to Kill Democratic Amendment to Ban Naked Credit Default Swaps. Brown voted to table a Dorgan Amendment to the original Senate Wall Street reform bill. Tulsa World reported, “The Senate tabled an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) that would have banned naked credit default swaps. Proponents of the amendment said the practice of big financial firms trading uninsured credit defaults and making trillions of dollars from fees was akin to gambling and had to stop because they were selling insurance policies against bonds that they never actually owned. Opponents of the amendment said it didn’t provide any protections for commercial end users. The vote no to table the amendment Tuesday was 57 yeas to 38 nays.” [Vote #156, 5/18/10; Tulsa World, 5/23/10]

WSJ: Scott Brown “Rejects Obama’s Bank Tax.” “Democrats believe President Barack Obama’s proposed, $90 billion tax on big banks will box in Republicans, giving them the choice between siding with the bankers or breaking with the GOP’s anti-tax base. If so, Republican Massachusetts Senate candidate Scott Brown has taken the bait. His Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, embraced the bank tax and spent the day goading Brown to take a stand. “Now is the time for Scott Brown to tell us what side he’s on, and who he wants to fight for. Despite his tea party rhetoric about never supporting a tax hike, the truth is that he has supported more than $300 million in new taxes and fees on middle class families. We’ll find out if his “no tax” pledge only applies to the privileged,” she said in a statement.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/14/10]