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H.R. 4173: Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

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Financial Regulatory Reform

On December 11, 2009, the House considered H.R. 4173: Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. You may recall that the House Financial Services Committee, of which I am a member, had been working on many aspects of this legislation for much of the fall. We combined several separate bills into one comprehensive bill. I believe that we have identified most of the root causes of the financial crisis and fixed the problems so that we will never face another such collapse in the future.

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains a number of provisions that tighten oversight of Wall Street and put a stop to predatory lending. The bill creates a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to safeguard consumer interests and ensure the integrity of available financial products. It also sets up a Systemic Dissolution Fund, paid into by large financial companies and hedge funds, that would direct the future orderly closure of failing institutions. This is designed to prevent another tax payer-funded bailout. In addition, H.R. 4173 requires that lenders make responsible mortgage loans that consumers will be able to repay, ending the practice of abusive subprime lending.

I am particularly proud that I was able to work with Chairman Barney Frank to make it easier to hold credit rating agencies accountable. We included an amendment that lowers the liability standard for credit rating agencies, which will allow more investors to bring cases against credit rating agencies that have neglected to do their job. Many credit rating agencies gave their seal of approval to companies whose excessively risky practices led to the financial collapse. We need to be able to hold them accountable to protect investors in the future.

I voted YES. H.R. 4173 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

223

27

0

7

REPUBLICAN

0

175

0

2

TOTAL

223

202

0

9

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

1



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