Senator Cantwell to support financial regulation bill

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – Senator Maria Cantwell said on Thursday she will support a landmark overhaul of financial regulations, giving her fellow Democrats a boost as they try to lock down the votes needed for passage.

Cantwell had opposed the measure previously on the grounds that it did not do enough to crack down on risky derivatives trading. Her switch makes it easier for backers to clear the measure and send it to President Barack Obama to sign into law in mid-July.

“I will vote in support of the conference report because it makes great strides toward our ultimate goal: bringing all standard derivatives onto exchanges and clearinghouses, with aggregate position limits and strong anti-manipulation tools,” Cantwell said in a statement.

Cantwell, of Washington state, added that the legislation is not perfect and she would continue to push for even bolder measures to reign in Wall Street.

The most sweeping overhaul of the Wall Street rulebook since the 1930s would impose tighter regulations on financial firms and reduce their profits.

It would also boost consumer protections, force banks to reduce risky trading and investing activities and set up a new government process for liquidating troubled financial firms.

The House of Representatives approved a final version of the bill on Wednesday.

The death of Democratic Senator Robert Byrd left Democrats one vote shy of the 60 needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the 100-seat chamber, and cold feet among Republican allies has complicated efforts to round up votes needed in the Senate.

Cantwell’s support means Senate Democrats probably do not have to win over all three Republican moderates who supported the bill in previous incarnations.

Those Republicans — Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown — objected to a $17.9 billion tax on large financial institutions added last week to cover the bill’s costs.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill during the week of July 12.

With congressional elections approaching in November, Democrats have ridden a wave of public disgust at an industry that has awarded itself fat paydays while the rest of the country struggles with high unemployment.

Wall Street and Republicans have tried to delay the bill or lessen its reach, but the measure has actually gotten tougher during its year-long journey through Congress.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan, editing by Anthony Boadle and Todd Eastham)

Senator Cantwell to support financial regulation bill