What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Consumer Protection : S 3217. (Overhaul of financial regulations) Thune of South Dakota amendment that would require that the consumer protection bureau created by a consumer financial overhaul bill end in four years unless Congress renews it/On agreeing to the amendment (2010 senate Roll Call 150)
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S 3217. (Overhaul of financial regulations) Thune of South Dakota amendment that would require that the consumer protection bureau created by a consumer financial overhaul bill end in four years unless Congress renews it/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 150     May 13, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by John Thune, R-S.D., that would have required that the consumer protection bureau created by a consumer financial overhaul bill end after four years, unless Congress specifically renews it (often called a “sunset date”).  The amendment was offered to a bill that aims to close gaps in financial regulations, strengthen oversight of consumer lending and more closely oversee complex financial investments.

Thune said that his amendment is an easy way to exercise oversight over the new consumer protection bureau that the underlying bill would create.

“I think most Americans, if they knew we were creating a big new bureaucracy here in Washington, DC, would want us to have some oversight. They would want some accountability. They would want to make sure their tax dollars are being spent wisely and well.  This new consumer protection bureau will have lots of new Federal employees here in Washington, DC. It will spend hundreds of millions of dollars every single year. Yet Congress has literally no oversight or authority with regard to this new bureau,” Thune said.  “My amendment simply says that 4 years from now, once this bureau has been created, let’s have it sunset, and then, if necessary, Congress can come back and reauthorize it.”

No one spoke against Thune’s amendment.  However, in this case a sunset provision was not likely to resonate with most Democrats, since the road to enacting a financial overhaul bill at all had been rocky and was not one most senators would care to repeat.

By a vote of 40-55, the amendment was rejected.  All but one Democrat present voted against the amendment.  All but one Republican present voted for the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have shut down a new consumer protection bureau created by the bill in four years.

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