U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell will vote ‘yes’ on a proposed overhaul of Wall Street regulations.
The Democrat bucked her party to oppose an earlier version of the bill. With the number of Republican supporters for the latest compromise version uncertain, and the death of Sen. Robert Byrd temporarily lowering Democrats’ Senate majority to 58-41, Democrats could use her vote. They need 60 votes to send it to President Obama.
Cantwell said final negotiations between the House and Senate improved the bill. Derivatives — wagers on the fate of products like bundles of mortgages, which helped bring the economy to the brink of collapse in 2008 — will be traded on an open exchange or clearinghouse. There are exceptions, but Cantwell said they’re “narrowly-crafted” exceptions. She said in a statement:
Since even before the financial crisis of fall 2008 I have been fighting to bring the $600 trillion derivatives market out of the dark, unregulated betting hall where it has existed and into the bright light of transparency and regulation. This legislation is not perfect, and I will continue to push for even bolder action – including a return to the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking – to reign in (sic) Wall Street, put an end to the concept of ‘too-big-to-fail.’ But this bill makes significant strides toward preventing the kind of financial meltdown that we saw in the fall of 2008.”