DE Senator Kaufman sees Senate financial reform bill as a positve step

    Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman (D) will take what he can get when it comes to financial reform.

    Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman (D) will take what he can get when it come to financial reform.

    Sen. Kaufman voted for the Senate version of the financial reform bill, which passed Thursday night 59-39, even though the measure wasn’t as strong as he’d like.

    “When I looked at this bill finally, it was clear to me there are more pieces that I liked than didn’t like.” said Sen. Kaufman.

    Among the issues Delaware’s junior senator believes were addressed were the creation of a Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and stronger regulation of over the  counter derivatives. Sen. Kaufman also believes the bill will help keep banks from becoming to great a risk to the overall economy.

    “The regulators are given additional emphasis, as much as powers, to be on the look out for banks long before they reach the point where they’re a risk.  It also allows them to actually go to a bank and close it down like we do with the FDIC.”

    Sen. Kaufman is concerned that too much is left to the discretion of  regulators.

    “I was hoping the Congress would actually pass real bright line rules on what we should be doing and then let the regulators operate.” said Sen Kaufman, specifically when it comes to reducing the size of banks and getting commercial banks out of high risk business, like derivatives.  Kaufman is also disappointed that issues involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, predatory short selling and high frequency trading were left unaddressed.

    The Senate bill must be reconciled with the House bill passed earlier this year before it can head to President Obama’s desk.  Sen. Kaufman warns there can’t be too many changes during that process.

    “You can’t go too far in terms of changes in the conference.  You bring a bill back very much weaker than the one we saw now, you’re going to have a hard time getting 60 votes in the Senate to pass it.”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal