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Grassley says he'll reject final Wall St. overhaul bill

By Shailagh Murray
Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa), a potential Republican vote for the Wall Street overhaul, announced Wednesday that he would oppose the final legislation.

Grassley supported the Senate version of the bill and was viewed by Democrats and the White House as the potential 61st vote for the conference report, possibly persuading other Republicans to support the legislation. Grassley made a similar move during the health care debate, helping to negotiate the bill during the early stages but backing away when it became clear the legislation would not attract a large bipartisan majority.

The conservative Republican is seeking a sixth term in November and could face his toughest election challenge yet against Democrat Roxanne Conlin.

Here's his full statement about the bill:

I'll vote against the conference report because of concerns about changes made to the Senate bill, which I supported.

First, there's new spending with a new offset that's a huge problem. The new offset uses TARP dollars. TARP dollars should be returned to the taxpayers and used for deficit reduction, as was promised from the start. I voted for the Senate version of the banking bill to protect taxpayers from another government bailout of Wall Street, not to put taxpayers on the hook by spending more money through TARP.

The new offset also uses FDIC fees for a budget gimmick by crediting those fees to the FDIC and using them as an offset.

The conference report also waters down important reforms that were in the Senate bill.
I wanted to make the derivatives market transparent. The conference report weakened the Senate derivatives title, which required that banks receiving federal assistance push out all derivatives trading to separate affiliate operations. Instead, the conference report allows certain types of derivatives trading by the bank which puts them in a more risky position.

I also wanted to target conflicts of interest with credit rating agencies. The Senate bill contained an amendment that I cosponsored to break up the conflict of interest where security issuers get to pick the credit rating agencies. A lack of independent assessment in this area was a major factor in what led up to the meltdown in 2008.

The conference report guts this reform by replacing it with a mere study. I also wanted to make the Fed open to scrutiny and accountability. The Senate bill took a step in that direction, albeit way too small of a step. A lot more should have been done in this area.

It's a bill that most of Wall Street wants passed. And that's the last thing Iowans expect in any real reform bill.

By Shailagh Murray  |  July 14, 2010; 12:59 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , 44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care , Republican Party , The GOP  
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Comments

Any Congressman or Senator who votes for this farce of a bill will be defeated. It exempts Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that caused the financial meltdown which is a disgrace and makes one realize how dumb they think American voters are. Plus more harrassment of business is why many wont hire or expand and probably looking to move overseas so more jobs go up in smoke. Obama is a disaster and Dems would be wise to tell him to stop appearing in public for then next few months.

Posted by: cdorbg | July 14, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

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