Missoulian: Baucus, Tester help financial reform bill pass Senate

HELENA – Both Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus, D-Mont., voted for the financial reform bill that passed the Senate on Thursday, while Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg voted against it in the House earlier.

The bill came in response to the 2008 financial meltdown on Wall Street and elsewhere.

“This reform finally gets rid of the notion that any private company can somehow be ‘too big to fail,’ ” said Tester, the only Senate Democrat to oppose both the bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry. “I don’t believe in bailouts. But I do believe in making sure folks are playing by the same rules.”

It creates an independent consumer protection bureau to go after “bad actors” and require all players in the financial industry to play by the same rules, Tester said. It ends taxpayer-funded bailouts by requiring Wall Street banks to pay for their own liquidations if they fail.

Tester said he worked on several provisions that made it into the final bill. One makes sure that smaller banks pay their fair share for federal deposit insurance instead of an inequitable share as they now do.

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