[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 74 (Monday, May 17, 2010)]
[Senate]
[Pages S3801-S3819]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




           RESTORING AMERICAN FINANCIAL STABILITY ACT OF 2010

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will resume consideration of S. 3217, which the clerk will 
report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3217) to promote the financial stability of the 
     United States by improving accountability and transparency in 
     the financial system, to end ``too big to fail,'' to protect 
     the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect 
     consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for 
     other purposes.

  Pending:

       Reid (for Dodd/Lincoln) amendment No. 3739, in the nature 
     of a substitute.
       Brownback modified amendment No. 3789 (to amendment No. 
     3739), to provide for an

[[Page S3802]]

     exclusion from the authority of the Bureau of Consumer 
     Financial Protection for certain automobile manufacturers.
       Brownback (for Snowe/Pryor) amendment No. 3883 (to 
     amendment No. 3739), to ensure small business fairness and 
     regulatory transparency.
       Specter modified amendment No. 3776 (to amendment No. 
     3739), to amend section 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 
     1934 to allow for a private civil action against a person 
     that provides substantial assistance in violation of such 
     act.
       Dodd (for Leahy) amendment No. 3823 (to amendment No. 
     3739), to restore the application of the Federal antitrust 
     laws to the business of health insurance to protect 
     competition and consumers.
       Whitehouse amendment No. 3746 (to amendment No. 3739), to 
     restore to the States the right to protect consumers from 
     usurious lenders.
       Dodd (for Rockefeller) amendment No. 3758 (to amendment No. 
     3739), to preserve the Federal Trade Commission's rulemaking 
     authority.
       Udall (CO) amendment No. 4016 (to amendment No. 3739), to 
     improve consumer notification of numerical credit scores used 
     in certain lending transactions.


                Amendment No. 3986 to Amendment No. 3739

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside any 
pending amendments and to call up amendment No. 3986.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Texas [Mr. Cornyn], for himself, and Mr. 
     Vitter, proposes an amendment numbered 3986 to amendment No. 
     3739.

  Mr. CORNYN. I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To protect United States taxpayers from paying for the 
                    bailouts of foreign governments)

       On page 1565, after line 23, add the following:

                       TITLE XIII--MISCELLANEOUS

     SEC. 1301. RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO FINANCE 
                   BAILOUTS OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.

       The Bretton Woods Agreements Act (22 U.S.C. 286 et seq.) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following:

     ``SEC. 68. RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO FINANCE 
                   BAILOUTS OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.

       ``(a) In General.--The President shall direct the United 
     States Executive Director of the International Monetary 
     Fund--
       ``(1) to evaluate any proposed loan to a country by the 
     Fund if the amount of the public debt of the country exceeds 
     the gross domestic product of the country;
       ``(2) to determine whether or not the loan will be repaid 
     and certify that determination to Congress.
       ``(b) Opposition to Loans Unlikely To Be Repaid.--If the 
     Executive Director determines under subsection (a)(2) that a 
     loan by the International Monetary Fund to a country will not 
     be repaid, the President shall direct the Executive Director 
     to use the voice and vote of the United States to vote in 
     opposition to the proposed loan.''.

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I continue to have deep concerns about the 
legislation we are debating. I mentioned some of those concerns last 
week, including the bailout provisions that still effectively remain in 
the bill and the so-called orderly liquidation process that could give 
some firms special treatment outside of the Bankruptcy Code.
  I repeat my appreciation to Senator Sessions from Alabama for 
offering his amendment last week which would have corrected that. 
Unfortunately, it was defeated last Thursday, as most of the amendments 
have been.
  At this time, I offer another amendment that would protect the 
American taxpayer from bailing out foreign governments. We all know 
that this scene, which we saw displayed across cable television and in 
the newspapers, is being played out now in Greece where literally a 
Greek tragedy is unfolding.
  How did this happen? First, Greece's public debt was 115 percent of 
its gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary 
Fund. Putting that in context, according to the Congressional Budget 
Office report of March 2010, the public debt of the United States is 
currently 53 percent of our gross domestic product. However, the 
Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper of the 
government, says, all else being equal--in other words, if nothing else 
happens--the baseline estimate for that debt in ten years will be 67.5 
percent, up from 53 percent last year. Under the President's proposed 
budget, that number skyrockets to 90 percent of gross domestic product 
by 2020. While some may say here in America we are in relatively good 
shape because our debt is only 53 percent of our gross domestic 
product, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that under the 
President's own budget, that will soar from 53 percent of the gross 
domestic product to 90 percent of GDP by the year 2020, which makes 
that 115 percent number for Greece look not so much higher than what 
the American number will be come 2020.
  Deficits are high in Greece for the same reason they are too high in 
the United States--too much government and too much reckless spending.
  Similar to the U.S. Government, the Greek Government has been 
financing its operations by borrowing money. But over the last few 
weeks, the capital markets made clear investors--the people who buy 
that debt--do not trust the Greeks to be able to pay it back, hence, 
the need for these extraordinary bailouts by the International Monetary 
Fund.
  But, again, the comparison is unavoidable. What happens if the United 
States does not change its current trajectory of going to 90 percent of 
our gross domestic product when it comes to our debt by 2020, as 
projected by the Congressional Budget Office? What do we do if we 
continue to borrow and spend? What do we do if China, for example--
which is the primary country that buys that debt--either refuses to 
continue to finance our deficit spending and our debt or demands higher 
interest rates.
  What is happening now in Greece with these kinds of demonstrations I 
do not think it takes a great imagination to say could happen in 
America if we are not more responsible in dealing with our out-of-
control spending, our out-of-control debt--unless we say no to the 
President's proposed spending budget, which would grow that to 90 
percent of our gross domestic product by 2020.
  But back to my amendment. Why is it people are so upset about bailing 
out Greece, using the International Monetary Fund to do so? Well, I am 
referring to an article from the Associated Press entitled ``Europe 
bristles at paying for Greek retirement.'' Let me read a couple 
paragraphs:

       In Greece, trombone players and pastry chefs get to retire 
     as early at 50 on grounds their work causes them late career 
     breathing problems. Hairdressers enjoy the same perk thanks 
     to the dyes and other chemicals they rub into people's 
     scalps.

  Skipping down a couple paragraphs:

       Like many [European Union] countries, the general 
     retirement age in Greece is 65, although the actual average 
     [retirement age] is about 61. However, the deeply fragmented 
     system also provides for early retirement--as early as 55 for 
     men and 50 for women--in many professions classified as 
     ``arduous and unhealthy.''

  So we see why people are reluctant, to say the least, to bail out 
Greece because of these reckless pensions that facilitate these early 
retirements under the thinnest of pretenses. But we know the European 
Union and the International Monetary Fund recently approved a $145 
billion bailout for the Greek Government. Mr. President, $40 billion of 
that represents loan guarantees from the International Monetary Fund. 
Since the United States has funded about 17 percent of the IMF's 
budget, our share--that is, the American taxpayers' share--of that 
bailout would be at least $7 billion. That is right, U.S. taxpayers are 
on the hook to help bail out Greece to the tune of at least $7 billion.
  We know a $1 trillion bailout fund is being discussed for other 
European nations. While the details are being discussed, once again, 
U.S. taxpayer funds could make their way through the International 
Monetary Fund to bail out irresponsible foreign governments.
  As CNBC reported on Tuesday:

       U.S. taxpayers could be on the hook for $50 billion or more 
     as part of the European debt bailout, which is likely to be a 
     close cousin to the strategy used to rescue the American 
     financial system.

  CNBC went on to say:

       The entire bailout package has been nicknamed ``Le Tarp'' 
     for its similarity to the Troubled Asset Relief Program that 
     bailed out US companies with taxpayer-backed loans.

  They are calling this bailout fund Le Tarp for a reason. Once again, 
billions

[[Page S3803]]

of dollars will be in the hands of government bureaucrats, and the U.S. 
taxpayer will be asked simply to trust those so-called experts who have 
let us down before and who seem to be making much of this up as they go 
along.
  It is no surprise that 63 percent of respondents to a recent 
Rasmussen poll have said they oppose using U.S. taxpayer funds to bail 
out foreign governments. I am actually surprised it is only 63 percent.
  American taxpayers should not be involved in bailing out foreign 
governments. As George Will pointed out last week in the Washington 
Post, Greece has a gross domestic product that is less than the Dallas-
Fort Worth metropolitan area's. Greece is simply not, under any stretch 
of the imagination, too big to fail. If Greece defaults on its debt, 
then the European banks that bought the debt need do write it off. If 
the European governments want to bail out their banks or prop up their 
currency, let them do it without help from the American taxpayer.
  American taxpayers simply should not be involved in this process. Our 
first priority should be to unwind all the bailouts we have, thanks to 
this administration, not to create new ones overseas.
  Moreover, there is a good chance this Greek bailout is not even going 
to work; in other words, that we will not even be able to get our money 
back. It will not be a loan; it will be throwing more good money after 
bad.
  The chief executive of the Deutsche Bank doubts the Greeks can even 
repay this debt. We have all seen pictures of these protests that have 
continued under the ``austerity measures'' that have now been imposed 
that the government was forced to make in order to secure the deal.
  As one blogger recently put it:

       It was the Greeks who gave us the word for democracy. They 
     also gave us the words for demagoguery, tyranny, crisis and 
     chaos.

  That is what this photograph looks like: chaos as a result of 
uncontrolled spending and out-of-control debt.
  What we are seeing is what Robert Samuelson calls the ``Death Spiral 
of the [Modern] Welfare State.'' He said: ``The reckoning has arrived 
in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy countries,'' including, I might 
add, the United States of America--unless we change our ways.
  The President of the European Council put it this way:

       We can't finance our social model anymore--with 1 percent 
     structural growth we can't play a role in the world.

  What my amendment--which will be among the four amendments voted on 
when we gather again at 5:30--does is, it says the American people are 
tired of bailouts, and Congress should protect the American taxpayer 
from bailing out foreign governments, particularly when we cannot get 
our money back afterwards.
  My amendment would bring needed transparency and accountability to 
what the International Monetary Fund is doing with American taxpayer 
dollars, including the roughly $60 billion our country has already 
provided to the IMF over the years.
  Specifically, this amendment would require the administration to look 
more closely at any proposed IMF loan to see if that country's debt 
exceeds its GDP; and when it does, as Greece's does, to certify to 
Congress that the loan will be repaid.
  If the U.S. Executive Director of the IMF cannot certify to Congress 
that the loan will be repaid, my amendment would require the President 
of the United States to direct the Executive Director to vote against 
the bailout by the International Monetary Fund.
  The logic of this amendment could not be more clear: Any country that 
owes more money than its entire economy produces is, by definition, a 
very bad credit risk, and the United States should not be loaning money 
to such a nation, unless we are absolutely confident our taxpayers are 
not subsidizing failure and will ultimately get their money back.
  So I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. We must act 
quickly, so the amendment will apply to future bailouts of nations like 
Greece that have spent way beyond their means.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                Amendment No. 3746 to Amendment No. 3739

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I wish to say a few words on the 
amendment I have pending and that we will be voting on in the next 2 
days that will restore the historic power of States to control interest 
rates they charge to their citizens.
  One of the things I hear most about when I am home in Rhode Island is 
from folks who can't understand why their credit card interest rate 
suddenly jumped to over 30 percent. For a long time, the tricks and the 
traps in those long credit card contracts pitched people into these 
penalty rates. I think a lot of people don't read all the fine print 
and aren't sure exactly what it means. We have individual consumers up 
against the craftiest lawyers the credit card industry can hire, and 
the result is when they trigger one of these traps and they get caught 
by one of these little tricks, they end up being kicked into a very 
high penalty rate.
  Recently, after the credit card reform bill passed a year ago, we saw 
the credit card industry actually not even waiting for the tricks or 
traps to be triggered. They just began to spontaneously raise people's 
interest rates; again, very often over 30 percent. The Presiding 
Officer and I are both of an age where we can remember a time when 
interest rates of that level would have been a matter to refer to the 
authorities, not a commonplace business practice of our biggest 
industries. When we think of the pain and the suffering and the 
economic stress families get put under when they fall into these 
burdensome, exorbitant penalty rates--I think we should do something 
about it. My amendment would allow us to do just that.
  It doesn't take any new risks. It doesn't create dramatic new policy. 
It does things that my friends on the other side of the aisle have been 
supportive of over the years. It honors the independent authority of 
States to make decisions to protect their citizens. It supports 
consumers--the little guy--against the huge corporations, and it puts 
our local banks on a level playing field with these big out-of-State 
banks.
  We got here because of an unusual loophole that the Supreme Court 
opened 30 years ago. We did not have a debate on the Senate floor 
saying: What should our policy be? Should we take away the rights of 
States to protect their consumers, to protect their citizens from 
exorbitant out-of-State interest rates? We never had that discussion. 
This happened inadvertently.
  It happened as a result of a Supreme Court decision back in 1978 that 
said when a bank in one State and a consumer in another State have a 
transaction, it will be the laws of the home State of the bank that 
govern. It didn't look like a very big deal at the time. It didn't take 
the crafty bank lawyers long to see that it opened a very tricky 
loophole, and they could move to the States in this country that had 
the worst consumer protection legislation, and from there--from those 
outposts of the worst consumer protection--they could market into other 
States. The fact that the other State they were marketing into had good 
consumer protections and protected those State's citizen didn't matter. 
It didn't help because of the Supreme Court decision.
  I submit if, as a Senate, we were to have debated that proposition, 
there would not have been many votes for the outcome. The notion of the 
policy of the United States on protecting consumers from interest rates 
should be that the rules of the worst State in the country trump every 
other State is a rule that nobody in their right mind would vote for. 
But because of this inadvertent Supreme Court loophole and because of 
the crafty work of these big national banks and their lawyers, we are 
now in that exact situation--a situation that none of us would ever 
have voted for and that we shouldn't tolerate now.
  So I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to vote for 
this amendment. I wish to thank Senator Cochran from the other side of 
the aisle for cosponsoring it, and I wish to ask his colleagues in the 
Republican caucus to join him in supporting it.

[[Page S3804]]

  This bill we are looking at right now is very esoteric and technical. 
It is preventive medicine. It engages in things such as trying to 
rebuild the Glass-Steagall firewall, trying to promptly regulate 
collateralized debt obligations, trying to put appropriate leverage 
limitations on banks. That is all pretty arcane stuff.
  The American people want this reform, and it should happen. But here 
is a deliverable they can take right home. They will see a difference 
as soon as their States respond. They can be protected from these 
outrageous 30-percent interest rates as a result of this bill. It is 
not a big Federal Government that is coming to do this; it is the State 
governments, State by State. Indeed, if a State wants to have no 
consumer protections and have its citizens vulnerable to these 
predatory and exorbitant credit card deals, fine. They can do that. 
There is nothing in my amendment that requires a State to do anything. 
It just empowers them with the same power they had at the founding, 
with the same power they had for 202 years, until 1978 came along and 
this peculiar Supreme Court decision.
  So I think it will be a good argument to go home with, and as voters 
in this country look at what Congress has done leading up to the 
November elections, to be able to say: You know what. Those 30-percent 
rates we never saw when we were children and that our parents never had 
to pay, the rates that you as a head of a family are now having to deal 
with with these credit card companies from out of State that you can 
barely reach on the phone, and if you do, you get pushed from phone 
tree to phone tree, we have done something about that. We have helped 
you. We have put you in a position where the States are sovereign again 
over these big national corporations rather than vice versa.
  Right now, we, the big credit card companies, are sovereign over our 
States. That is not the way things should be in America. That is not 
the way the Founding Fathers set it up. It is not right for consumers. 
It violates the principle of the States being laboratories of 
democracy, and it completely eviscerates consumer protection.
  So I urge my colleagues to support it and to put themselves in a 
position to be able to go home to their voters and say: We did 
something tangible for you. We didn't create bigger government. We let 
your existing State government make the decisions that for two 
centuries they were capable of making to protect you from the worst 
practices of the out-of-State credit card companies. The alternative is 
to have to go back and explain why people are still paying 30 percent 
when you have the chance to do something about it; why you chose the 
big out-of-State corporations and exorbitant interest rates over your 
own home State's protection of your own home State's citizens.
  I think the position my colleagues would want to be in on that one is 
with your home State, with the doctrine of federalism, with the 
traditions of the United States of America, and with your consumers, 
rather than on the other side with the big out-of-State banks that 
charge these exorbitant rates.
  So I hope I will have support, and I look forward to working with 
anyone who has questions.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Idaho.


                Amendment No. 4020 to Amendment No. 3739

 (Purpose: To limit further bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to 
enhance the regulation and oversight of such enterprises, and for other 
                               purposes)

  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the 
pending amendment and call up the Crapo amendment No. 4020.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
       The Senator from Idaho [Mr. Crapo], for himself, Mr. Gregg, 
     Mr. Shelby, Mr. McCain, Mr. Vitter, and Mrs. Hutchison, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 4020 to amendment No. 3739.

  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in the Record of Thursday, May 13, 2010.)
  Mr. CRAPO. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
  This amendment includes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of the 
Federal budget as long as either of these two institutions is under 
conservatorship or receivership. I wish to thank Senators Gregg, 
Shelby, McCain, and Vitter, Hutchison, and Corker for cosponsoring this 
amendment.
  As I believe my colleagues will recall, several days ago we voted on 
a broader amendment which would actually have provided some significant 
coverage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in this so-called financial 
regulatory reform legislation we are addressing on the floor of the 
Senate today.
  That legislation would have provided a pathway for us to literally 
stop the bailouts of Fannie and Freddie and move us toward a path of 
resolving the continued taxpayer exposure to the excesses of Fannie Mae 
and Freddie Mac. But that amendment was defeated on the floor of the 
Senate--although I supported that amendment because now, since the 
amendment has been defeated, there is literally no piece of this 
legislation before us that addresses the core problem that started the 
entire collapse in our economy; namely, the securitization of the 
mortgage industry and the actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which 
ran up so many of these toxic assets and helped to spread them 
throughout the globe.
  As we debated then, the taxpayer is already on the hook for about 
$130 billion-plus for the problems Fannie and Freddie caused. Experts 
tell us, as we move forward, that liability to the taxpayer is likely 
to reach $380 billion to $400 billion. I personally think those are 
conservative estimates. When we get the full picture, I think the 
taxpayers will have been put on the hook for way more than that.
  This amendment simply says: Let's tell the American public what's 
happening. Since we lost the fight last week to try to have the bill 
cover Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and provide an exit strategy for the 
taxpayers to continue to bail them out, let's at least be open and 
clear about what we are doing with regard to Fannie and Freddie.
  The purpose of this amendment is to show the American people the true 
picture of how much our national debt has increased as a result of the 
bailout of these two institutions--the bailout which I, again, point 
out is ongoing, uninterrupted in any way by this legislation.
  According to the CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf:

       After the U.S. Government assumed control in 2008 of Fannie 
     Mae and Freddie Mac--two federally chartered institutions 
     that provide credit guarantees for almost half of the 
     outstanding residential mortgages in the U.S.--

  This is his quote now, and because of what happened in the economy, 
Fannie and Freddie, together with the FHA, account for 96.5 percent of 
all of the residential mortgages in the U.S. Continuing with the quote:

     the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the 
     institutions had effectively become government entities whose 
     operations should be included in the Federal budget.

  What is the Director saying? He is saying that since the U.S. 
Government has now taken over control and management of Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac, and the taxpayer is on the hook for all of their debts and 
excesses, we ought to put it on budget and show the American people 
what is happening to our debt as a result of it, instead of using the 
creative accounting that we see here in Washington all the time, where 
we mount up spending and debt and figure out ways to keep it from 
showing up in the national debt or in the calculations of our spending.
  At the end of 2009, per the financial statements, those figures that 
we are talking about, how much debt is not being reflected in our 
national debt because we don't choose to count it? Those figures are 
$774 billion for Fannie Mae and $781 billion for Freddie Mac, for a 
total of $1.555 trillion, which is out there for which the taxpayer is 
on the hook, and we have to figure out a way to pay it back. We as a 
Congress will not tell the American people that in the calculations of 
our national debt.

[[Page S3805]]

  To put into perspective how large these entities are, their combined 
total books of business are nearly $5.5 trillion. As I indicated, they 
are currently run and operated by the U.S. Government.
  Again, the amendment last week would have put us on a pathway to 
solve this and take the government out of the business, which should be 
a private sector business of mortgages. But at least this amendment 
would put us on record as telling the American people what exposure we 
are putting them to by not taking those actions.
  By the way, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that, in 
the wake of the housing bubble and the unprecedented deflation in 
housing values that resulted, the government's cost to bail out Fannie 
Mae and Freddie Mac will eventually reach, as indicated before, about 
$381 billion. I think that is too conservative.
  On May 5, Freddie Mac reported losing another $8 billion in the first 
quarter and requested $10.6 billion from taxpayers, saying in the same 
breath they are going to need more in the future.
  On May 10, Fannie Mae reported losing $11.5 billion, its 11th 
consecutive quarterly loss, and itself asked for another $8.4 billion 
more from the taxpayers. That is in addition to the $126.9 billion 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac already cost the taxpayers. Get this--there 
used to be some limits on this--$400 billion or $200 billion for each 
institution.
  Last Christmas--literally on Christmas Eve--the Treasury announced 
that it was going to lift that $400 billion loss cap on these two 
companies, creating a potentially unlimited liability, and effectively 
providing the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, the 
American taxpayers, for their unlimited debt. Now the limit, instead of 
$400 billion, which itself is unacceptable, is infinity. We will not 
even record it for the American people to see.
  According to a January 2010 CBO background paper titled ``CBO's 
Budgetary Treatment of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,'' the Congressional 
Budget Office ``believes that the Federal Government's current 
financial and operational relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 
warrants their inclusion in the budget.''
  This isn't just my complaint. The CBO itself has said that now that 
the status is that the U.S. Government has taken control of the 
financing of and assumed the debt of the obligations and actions of 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we ought to recognize they are government 
entities, and we ought to include them in our budget. That is what we 
are seeking in this amendment.
  By contrast, the current administration has taken a different 
approach by continuing to treat Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as outside 
the Federal budget, recording and projecting outlays equal to the 
amounts of any cash infusions made by Treasury into the entities. They 
are creating the appearance that there is no debt here, no impact on 
our budget. That is the kind of nontransparency this amendment is aimed 
at stopping. We are seeking to create some kind of transparency that 
will at least allow Congress and the public to understand the finances 
we are now being engaged in and asking the American taxpayers to back.
  The Office of Management and Budget, in contrast to the CBO, has said 
in their Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2011:

       Under the approach in the budget, all of the GSEs' 
     transactions with the public are non-budgetary because the 
     GSEs are not considered to be government agencies.

  We have the President and the OMB at the White House saying that we 
don't need to count this in the budget because they are not government 
agencies. The CBO, however, is saying: Wait a minute, we own them, we 
run them, we are backing all of their debt, and essentially they are 
government entities. We can engage in debates about whether Fannie Mae 
and Freddie Mac are Government entities, but the bottom line question 
is: Who is responsible for their debt? Who is paying for their debt?
  Nobody denies the answer to that question. It is the U.S. taxpayer. 
If the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for their debt--and after what I 
call the ``Christmas Eve massacre'' of last Christmas--and there is no 
limit to the amount of that liability, we at least ought to put it on 
record.
  CBO has included the GSEs in its budget baseline but does not include 
their debt in the computations of debt because CBO took a narrow view 
of the Federal debt. But as CBO's report says:

       CBO's treatment of the entities' debt does not constitute a 
     statement about whether or not that debt should be considered 
     Federal debt.

  Figure that out. CBO is saying: We are not going to include this in 
the debt, even though we think they are government entities and we 
ought to put them on budget. Their words were ``CBO's treatment of the 
entities' debt''--meaning not counting it--``does not constitute a 
statement about whether or not that debt should be considered Federal 
debt.''

  Maybe CBO is saying Congress needs to give us some direction. Whether 
that is what they are saying, Congress does need to give some direction 
here, and that is the purpose of the amendment.
  In light of Treasury's Christmas Eve ``taxpayer massacre'' and the 
government's decision to back all losses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 
we should include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of the Federal 
budget--at least as long as they are in receivership or conservatorship 
and run and backed up by the American taxpayer.
  The amendment would also do a few other things. It would reestablish 
the $200 billion cap per entity and accelerate the 10-percent 
reductions of the mortgage portfolios, effectively requiring the 
companies to shrink those portfolios by holding a combined $100 billion 
from their current levels.
  This will also limit the losses that taxpayers will face as a result 
of the blank check given by the administration last December 24.
  The amendment will also require the Secretary of the Treasury and the 
Director of the Federal Housing Financing Agency to testify before the 
Banking Committee each time an additional $10 billion or more in 
taxpayer funds is provided to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac combined. In 
other words, the next time, under this amendment, we have a May like 
this May, where Fannie and Freddie have asked for more than $10 billion 
of additional taxpayer bailout, we at least ought to have the Secretary 
of the Treasury and the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, 
who manage this, come before the Banking Committee and testify as to 
what is happening, why, and where we are headed.
  This will provide at least an opportunity for congressional 
oversight, which is currently totally lacking in the process. All that 
happens now is that they issue a press release saying we need another 
$10 billion and they get it--no limits, no caps, no accountability, no 
counting of the debt, and no explanation to Congress. It seems to me a 
little transparency and honesty with the American people about what our 
finances are doing here is appropriate.
  The amendment is also going to require the Secretary of the Treasury 
to post on the Treasury Web site, 1, the aggregate portfolio holdings 
of each enterprise and, 2, a weekly summary of taxpayer funds provided 
for and at risk for each enterprise.
  Again, all we are asking is to have the kind of transparency that 
will allow the American people to understand what the Federal 
Government is up to with their money. It will also help explain why 
some of us don't believe the rhetoric about the bill before us today. 
There is a lot of talk about ending bailouts. There is a lot of talk 
about ``too big to fail'' is never going to be allowed again in 
America. There are some provisions in the bill that end some of the 
bailouts and that go quite a bit of the way down the road toward making 
it clear that a company cannot get too big to fail, and that we will 
try to move them into a resolution process if they do fail.
  It is not ironclad, however, and there is still the possibility that 
we will see bailouts in the future--something in other amendments we 
have tried to tighten.
  But let's not mistake the fact that the biggest bailouts of all are 
not even addressed in this legislation and are allowed to not only 
continue unabated but to continue without even telling the American 
public what the facts are. When I say the biggest bailouts of all, the 
last numbers I saw, if you take

[[Page S3806]]

the auto bailout and the financial bailouts everybody heard about, and 
total them all up, they won't even equal the amount of money being used 
to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yet, Fannie and Freddie 
continue--because the government now owns them--to be untouched by this 
legislation.
  It is time for true transparency as we debate these issues of 
bailouts and too big to fail. It is time for us to address the very 
core of the problem that caused so much of the economic disruption we 
are now dealing with--the financial mortgage industry and the 
securitization of those toxic mortgages.
  Yet, again, what happens? We are simply asked, as American taxpayers, 
to pony up with a check for $10 billion here and $8 billion there, and 
we will continue to grow, unrestricted, uncontrolled, unnoticed, and 
unidentified, because we won't even put it on record and count it in 
our own budgeting.
  It is time for us to include the obligations and the management of 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in our Federal budget. I encourage all of my 
colleagues to support this amendment when we get an opportunity to vote 
on it.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                    Amendment No. 3758, as Modified

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I call up Senator Hutchison's and my 
amendment No. 3758 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendment is pending. Does the 
Senator wish it to be the pending question?
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. I ask unanimous consent to modify this amendment 
with the modification at the desk.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  The amendment (No. 3758 as modified), is as follows:

       On page 1191, line 5, strike ``(c)'' and insert ``(b)''.
       On page 1191, line 10, strike ``6809);'' and insert ``6809) 
     except for section 505 as it applies to section 501(b);'';
       On page 1191, line 20, strike ``and''.
       On page 1191, line 22, strike ``seq.).'' and insert 
     ``seq.); and''.
       On page 1191, between lines 22 and 23, insert the 
     following:
       (Q) section 626 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 
     (Public Law 111-8).
       On page 1192, line 5 after ``H.'' insert ``The term does 
     not include the Federal Trade Commission Act.''
       On page 1213, line 24 after ``database'' insert ``or 
     utilizing an existing database''.
       On page 1214, line 3, after ``with'' insert ``the Federal 
     Trade Commission or''.
       On page 1214, line 4, strike ``other Federal regulators,'' 
     and insert ``such agencies,''.
       On page 1215, line 11, after ``regulators,'' insert ``the 
     Federal Trade Commission,''.
       On page 1215, line 14, strike ``regulators'' and insert 
     ``regulators, the Federal Trade Commission,'' .
       On page 1221, line 8, after ``Trading Commission,'' insert 
     ``the Federal Trade Commission,''.
       On page 1237, line 6, strike ``law,'' and insert ``law and 
     except as provided in section 1061(b)(5),''.
       On page 1250, line 6, strike ``(a)'' and insert ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1250, line 20, strike ``(a),'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1),''.
       On page 1251, line 19, strike ``(a)'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1251, line 24, strike ``(a)'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1252, line 8, strike ``(a),'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1),''.
       On page 1252, line 22, strike ``(a)'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1253, line 4, strike ``(a).'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1).''.
       On page 1253, line 13, strike ``(a)'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1253, line 15, strike ``(a)'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1253, line 18, strike ``(a),'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1),''.
       On page 1253, line 24, strike ``(a),'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1),''.
       On page 1254, line 13, strike ``Exclusive''.
       On page 1254, strike lines 14 through 20 and insert the 
     following:
       (1) The bureau to have enforcement authority.--Except as 
     provided in paragraph (3) and section 1061(b)(5), with 
     respect to any person described in subsection (a)(1), to the 
     extent that Federal law authorizes the Bureau and another 
     Federal agency to enforce Federal consumer financial law, the 
     Bureau shall have exclusive authority to enforce that Federal 
     consumer financial law.
       On page 1255, strike lines 5 through 18, and insert the 
     following:
       (A) In general.--The Bureau and the Federal Trade 
     Commission shall negotiate an agreement for coordinating with 
     respect to enforcement actions by each agency regarding the 
     offering or provision of consumer financial products or 
     services by any covered person that is described in 
     subsection (a)(1), or service providers thereto. The 
     agreement shall include procedures for notice to the other 
     agency, where feasible, prior to initiating a civil action to 
     enforce any Federal law regarding the offering or provision 
     of consumer financial products or services.
       On page 1256, line 25, strike ``law,'' and insert ``law and 
     except as provided in section 1061(b)(5),''.
       On page 1257, line 3, strike ``(a)'' and insert ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1257, line 9, strike ``(a),'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1),''.
       On page 1257, line 12, strike ``(a)'' and insert 
     ``(a)(1)''.
       On page 1298, line 14, strike ``ensure that the rules--'' 
     and insert ``ensure, to the extent appropriate, that the 
     rules--''.
       On page 1299, line 9, strike ``all''.
       On page 1301, line 18, strike ``to establish'' and insert 
     ``regarding''.
       On page 1375, beginning with line 8, strike through line 5 
     on page 1376 and insert the following:
       (A) Transfer of functions.--The authority of the Federal 
     Trade Commission under an enumerated consumer law to 
     prescribe rules, issue guidelines, or conduct a study or 
     issue a report mandated under such law shall be transferred 
     to the Bureau on the designated transfer date. Nothing in 
     this title shall be construed to require a mandatory transfer 
     of any employee of the Federal Trade Commission.
       (B) Bureau authority.--
       (i) In general.--The Bureau shall have all powers and 
     duties under the enumerated consumer laws to prescribe rules, 
     issue guidelines, or to conduct studies or issue reports 
     mandated by such laws, that were vested in the Federal Trade 
     Commission on the day before the designated transfer date.
       (ii) Federal trade commission act.--Subject to subtitle B, 
     the Bureau may enforce a rule prescribed under the Federal 
     Trade Commission Act by the Federal Trade Commission with 
     respect to an unfair or deceptive act or practice to the 
     extent that such rule applies to a covered person or service 
     provider with respect to the offering or provision of a 
     consumer financial product or service as if it were a rule 
     prescribed under section 1031 of this title.
       (C) Authority of the federal trade commission.--
       (i) In general.--No provision of this title shall be 
     construed as modifying, limiting, or otherwise affecting the 
     authority of the Federal Trade Commission under the Federal 
     Trade Commission Act or any other law, other than the 
     authority under an enumerated consumer law to prescribe 
     rules, issue official guidelines, or conduct a study or issue 
     a report mandated under such law.
       (ii) Commission authority relating to rules prescribed by 
     the bureau.--Subject to subtitle B, the Federal Trade 
     Commission shall have authority to enforce under the Federal 
     Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) a rule prescribed 
     by the Bureau under this title with respect to a covered 
     person subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade 
     Commission under that Act, and a violation of such a rule by 
     such a person shall be treated as a violation of a rule 
     issued under section 18 of that Act (15 U.S.C. 57a) with 
     respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
       (D) Coordination.--To avoid duplication of or conflict 
     between rules prescribed by the Bureau under section 1031 of 
     this title and the Federal Trade Commission under section 
     18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act that apply to 
     a covered person or service provider with respect to the 
     offering or provision of consumer financial products or 
     services, the agencies shall negotiate an agreement with 
     respect to rulemaking by each agency, including consultation 
     with the other agency prior to proposing a rule and during 
     the comment period.
       (E) Deference.--No provision of this title shall be 
     construed as altering, limiting, expanding, or otherwise 
     affecting the deference that a court affords to the--
       (i) Federal Trade Commission in making determinations 
     regarding the meaning or interpretation of any provision of 
     the Federal Trade Commission Act, or of any other Federal law 
     for which the Commission has authority to prescribe rules; or
       (ii) Bureau in making determinations regarding the meaning 
     or interpretation of any provision of a Federal consumer 
     financial law (other than any law described in clause (i)).
       On page 1382, beginning with line 5, strike through line 2 
     on page 1383 and insert the following:
       (c) Federal Trade Commission.--Section 1061(b)(5) does not 
     affect the validity of any right, duty, or obligation of the 
     United States, the Federal Trade Commission, or any other 
     person, that--
       (1) arises under any provision of law relating to any 
     consumer financial protection function of the Federal Trade 
     Commission transferred to the Bureau by this title; and
       (2) existed on the day before the designated transfer date.

[[Page S3807]]

       On page 1396, line 24, strike ``FTC''.
       On page 1397, line 1, strike ``the Federal Trade 
     Commission,''.

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, at its very core, this amendment is 
about protecting consumers. It is about making sure the Federal Trade 
Commission has the authority to act in coordination with the new 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is created in the 
underlying bill.
  This amendment would equip the FTC to cover dangerous gaps in 
consumer protection and to go after dishonest, fly-by-night operators 
targeting our society's weakest members. In the Commerce Committee, we 
discovered those folks are frequent and everywhere.
  For nearly 100 years, the FTC has been protecting consumers in the 
gray areas where other regulatory bodies have failed to act. This 
amendment will make sure the situation of the FTC and its ability to 
act does not change. Since 1914, the Federal Trade Commission has 
served the American public as our preeminent consumer watchdog. The 
Commission's core consumer protection mission is to enforce and 
regulate against ``unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or 
affecting interstate commerce.'' This broad prohibition is at the heart 
of the FTC's underlying authority under its authorizing statute, the 
Federal Trade Commission Act.
  This bipartisan amendment is very simple. It is a savings clause. 
That is really all it is. It fully preserves the FTC's enforcement and 
regulatory authority under the FTC Act as it is today. The underlying 
bill creates a new consumer protection bureau within the Federal 
Reserve, and I fully support that effort. But creating that new bureau 
should not come at the expense of the FTC's mission, which is consumer 
protection, which is not, incidentally, a zero sum game.
  I emphasize that this amendment is hardly a novel concept. Throughout 
the FTC's long, distinguished history, Congress has created new 
regulatory agencies that have overlapped with the FTC's core authority 
and jurisdiction. The list runs from the Securities and Exchange 
Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to the Environmental 
Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But in 
order to maximize consumer protection, Congress has always preserved 
the FTC's authority under the FTC Act, and this latest effort should be 
no different. Yet the underlying bill currently strips the FTC of its 
authority and places it within the new bureau, undermining its consumer 
protection mission and creating, in this Senator's judgment, dangerous 
holes in our regulatory safety net. That is because the definition and 
boundaries of the term ``financial products and services''--the ruling 
definition--are entirely vast and entirely vague. Anyone can avoid 
enforcement simply by claiming they are beyond the FTC's or the new 
bureau's jurisdiction. Fraudsters and scam artists could and most 
certainly would tie the courts up in knots. Concurrent authority would 
solve this problem.
  What is more, there is too much financial fraud out there to take a 
valuable cop off the beat. The FTC has particular expertise in cracking 
down on bad actors who fleece ordinary Americans of their hard-earned 
money.
  I think it is clear that these small-time crooks would not be at the 
top of the new bureau's priority list. They will have many things to 
do. It is just common sense to preserve the FTC's existing authority 
against these people.
  Simply put, the new consumer protection bureau cannot do everything. 
Neither can the FTC. There will be plenty of work to go around for both 
agencies.
  I wish to be absolutely clear about something. This amendment would 
not subject businesses to dual regulations. As I said earlier, the FTC 
has always coexisted with newly created agencies, and they have avoided 
tripping over one another with conflicting regulations or enforcement 
actions. To make absolutely certain this does not happen, the 
amendment, as modified, directs the FTC and the new bureau to enter 
into a memorandum of understanding and coordinate their regulatory 
efforts. That is sensible. The bottom line is that businesses will not 
be subject to multiple layers of regulation or rules.
  I close by thanking particularly Senator Hutchison, Senator Dorgan, 
and Senator Pryor for their steadfast support and effort, and, of 
course, Chairman Dodd, who has worked long and hard, it seems to me, 
for months on end, never moving from that seat. He has been crucial in 
working with me on this issue and with Senator Hutchison.
  So many of the enormous economic problems we face today are a direct 
result of weak consumer protections in the financial sector. It is the 
hard-working families in places such as West Virginia and many other 
places all across the country who are hurt the most. They are 
struggling just to scrape by, to pay their bills, and to put food on 
the table. It is so hard to know, frankly, whom to trust. They need to 
know somebody is by their side looking out for them. The Restoring 
American Financial Stability Act of 2010 will be that safeguard. It is 
a profound achievement that will make a real and lasting difference in 
the lives of hard-working Americans for generations to come. Our 
amendment is a small but essential part of that work to make sure 
consumers are protected.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Texas.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I will not go into the specifics of 
the Rockefeller-Hutchison amendment because the distinguished chairman 
of the Commerce Committee said it very well. Let me make a couple of 
other points to show what I think is the important reason for this 
amendment to be adopted.
  Over the past 5 years the Federal Trade Commission has filed over 100 
actions against providers of financial services, and in the past 10 
years the Commission has obtained nearly $\1/2\ billion in redress for 
consumers of financial services. In 2009 alone, the FTC and the States, 
working in close coordination, brought more than 200 cases against 
firms that pedaled phony mortgage modification and foreclosure rescue 
scams. Despite these successes, the substitute that is before us would 
transfer all consumer protection functions of the FTC to the newly 
created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  The FTC, in a bipartisan letter signed by all five Commissioners, has 
expressed concern that the current Senate language could inadvertently 
restrict the ability of the FTC to work with this new financial 
protection bureau to stop unfair and deceptive practices that prey on 
consumers of financial products and services. The FTC has warned that 
the current bill, which grants the new agency exclusive rulemaking and 
enforcement authority in several areas, could even inhibit the FTC's 
authority in consumer protection with respect to consumer protection 
laws of nonfinancial products and services.
  The bottom line is, I do not think it was the intention of the bill 
to take away from the FTC the authority and the record they have. It is 
important that they have a record in this area. They have experience. 
They have experienced staff. And we do not need to reinvent the wheel. 
We do not need another whole agency to do the same things the FTC 
already does.
  It also is confusing to the regulator. It is confusing when they have 
two agencies. They may have conflicting rules. Sometimes, as a 
businessperson, I have been in a position where two agencies have 
rulings that if you do what one ruling says, the other agency's ruling 
would be violated. That is unfair to our small businesses. It is unfair 
to the regulated entities not to have one regulatory authority that 
does not in any way have a double burden or make a double burden on the 
regulated. We need to keep commerce going and we also need to protect 
consumers and our amendment will ensure that happens. So I am very 
pleased to be a cosponsor.

  I will say the leadership for this amendment certainly resided with 
the chairman of the Commerce Committee, the distinguished Presiding 
Officer in the chair now, and also I appreciate that Chairman Dodd and 
Ranking Member Shelby worked on this amendment to make sure it was 
written in the correct way and that the FTC will keep its basic 
authority it has now. It will not get new authority, and it will not 
have authority taken away. It will

[[Page S3808]]

just be that their staff and their experience will be utilized--and 
certainly in a more fair way--and particularly in nonfinancial 
institutions consumers will have the protection of the FTC, where they 
are the relevant agency, rather than transferring to a new agency that 
is going to be set up and that doesn't even have rules yet, much less 
staff.
  So I think it is a good amendment, and I appreciate the leadership of 
the distinguished chairman, Senator Rockefeller.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rockefeller). The clerk will call the 
roll.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to withhold the 
quorum call.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is withheld.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I wish to take a minute or so to thank both 
the Presiding Officer and the author of this amendment, along with his 
coauthor and my good friend, the distinguished Senator from Texas.
  This is a good amendment, as my colleague from West Virginia has 
pointed out. The role of the Federal Trade Commission has been 
critically important and goes back a long time. I often cite to people 
that one of my favorite pieces of statuary is outside the Federal Trade 
Commission. It is an explanation of what the free enterprise system is 
and how it is supposed to work. It is a rather dated piece of 
sculpture, goes back I think to the Depression era, and it shows that 
very powerful horse straining at the bit, trying to charge forward, and 
a rather muscular farmer holding the horse back. You are not quite 
sure, looking at the piece of statuary, whether the horse is going to 
win or the farmer is going to win, which is about as good a visual 
expression as we have of our free enterprise system.
  We want a robust free enterprise system that is charging forward, 
creating new ideas and innovations in order to allow jobs to be created 
and wealth to be created. At the same time, we realize we have to have 
that regulator in place to make sure it doesn't run wild, in the sense 
that everyone else could be adversely affected by it. So I have always 
thought that particular piece of statuary captured the essence of what 
our free enterprise system is that sits outside the FTC.
  I think this amendment strengthens the bill and is a very worthwhile 
addition to it. So I thank both my colleagues for their indulgence and 
their patience as we took a little time to get to this.
  Either we will have a recorded vote or a voice vote, as soon as the 
leadership decides how they want to handle that in the next hour or so.
  Why don't we do this. If there is no objection, we will go to it, and 
I will call the question.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate on the amendment?
  If not, the question is on agreeing to the amendment, as modified.
  The amendment (No. 3758), as modified, was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. I move to reconsider the vote and to lay that motion on the 
table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


         Amendment No. 3746, as Modified, to Amendment No. 3739

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, may I ask for regular order with 
respect to my pending amendment, No. 3746.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is now pending.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I offer a modification.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is so modified.
  The amendment (No. 3746), as modified, is as follows:

       On page 1320, strike line 23 and all that follows through 
     the end of the undesignated matter on page 1321 between lines 
     17 and 18 and insert the following:
       ``(g) Transparency of OCC Preemption Determinations.--The 
     Comptroller of the Currency shall publish and update not less 
     frequently than quarterly, a list of preemption 
     determinations by the Comptroller of the Currency then in 
     effect that identifies the activities and practices covered 
     by each determination and the requirements and constraints 
     determined to be preempted.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 
     one of title LXII of the Revised Statutes of the United 
     States is amended by inserting after the item relating to 
     section 5136B the following new item:

``Sec. 5136C. State law preemption standards for national banks and 
              subsidiaries clarified.''.

       (c) Usurious Lenders.--Section 5197 of the Revised Statutes 
     of the United States (12 U.S.C. 85) is amended--
       (1) by striking ``Any association'' and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(a) In General.--Any association''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(b) Limits on Annual Percentages Rates.--Effective 12 
     months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the 
     interest applicable to any consumer credit transaction, as 
     that term is defined in section 103 of the Truth in Lending 
     Act (other than a transaction that is secured by real 
     property), including any fees, points, or time-price 
     differential associated with such a transaction, may not 
     exceed the maximum permitted by any law of the State in which 
     the consumer resides. Nothing in this section may be 
     construed to preempt an otherwise applicable provision of 
     State law governing the interest in connection with a 
     consumer credit transaction that is secured by real 
     property.''.

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I yield the floor.


                Amendment No. 3884 to Amendment No. 3739

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to call up the 
Cantwell-McCain amendment, No. 3884.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  If not, the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Dodd], for Ms. Cantwell, 
     for herself and Mr. McCain, Mr. Kaufman, Mr. Harkin, Mr. 
     Feingold, and Mr. Sanders, proposes amendment No. 3884 to 
     amendment No. 3739.

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To impose appropriate limitations on affiliations with 
                         certain member banks)

       At the end of subtitle C of title I, add the following:

     SEC. 171. LIMITATIONS ON BANK AFFILIATIONS.

       (a) Limitation on Affiliation.--The Banking Act of 1933 (12 
     U.S.C. 221a et seq.) is amended by inserting before section 
     21 the following:
       ``Sec. 20.  Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of 
     the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, no 
     member bank may be affiliated, in any manner described in 
     section 2(b), with any corporation, association, business 
     trust, or other similar organization that is engaged 
     principally in the issue, flotation, underwriting, public 
     sale, or distribution at wholesale or retail or through 
     syndicate participation stocks, bonds, debenture, notes, or 
     other securities, except that nothing in this section shall 
     apply to any such organization which shall have been placed 
     in formal liquidation and which shall transact no business, 
     except such as may be incidental to the liquidation of its 
     affairs.''.
       (b) Limitation on Compensation.--The Banking Act of 1933 
     (12 U.S.C. 221 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 
     31 the following:
       ``Sec. 32.  Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of 
     the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, no 
     officer, director, or employee of any corporation or 
     unincorporated association, no partner or employee of any 
     partnership, and no individual, primarily engaged in the 
     issue, flotation, underwriting, public sale, or distribution, 
     at wholesale or retail, or through syndicate participation, 
     of stocks, bonds, or other similar securities, shall serve 
     simultaneously as an officer, director, or employee of any 
     member bank, except in limited classes of cases in which the 
     Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System may allow 
     such service by general regulations when, in the judgment of 
     the Board of Governors, it would not unduly influence the 
     investment policies of such member bank or the advice given 
     to customers by the member bank regarding investments.''.
       (c) Prohibiting Depository Institutions From Engaging in 
     Insurance-related Activities.--
       (1) In general.--Beginning 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, and notwithstanding any other 
     provision of law, in no case may a depository institution 
     engage in the business of insurance or any insurance-related 
     activity.
       (2) Definition.--As used in this section, the term 
     ``business of insurance'' means the writing of insurance or 
     the reinsuring of risks by an insurer, including all acts 
     necessary to such writing or reinsuring and the activities 
     relating to the writing of insurance or the reinsuring of 
     risks conducted by persons who act as, or are, officers, 
     directors, agents, or employees of insurers or who are

[[Page S3809]]

     other persons authorized to act on behalf of such persons.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Burris). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 
5:30 p.m. today, the Senate proceed to vote in relation to the 
following amendments in the order listed; that after the first vote 
there be 2 minutes of debate prior to the succeeding votes, with the 
succeeding votes limited to 10 minutes in duration: the Crapo 
amendment, No. 4020; the Cornyn amendment, No. 3986; the Udall of 
Colorado amendment, No. 4016; provided further that no amendment be in 
order to any of the amendments covered in this agreement prior to a 
vote in relation thereto.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DODD. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call 
be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Franken). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                           Amendment No. 4020

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I understand I have 2 minutes; is that 
correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is not a formal order.
  Mr. DODD. Let me be brief.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I have a tremendously high regard for my 
colleague from Idaho. We serve on the Banking Committee together. He is 
more than just a member; he is an excellent member of the committee and 
brings great knowledge in the area of financial services. It is always 
with reluctance that one disagrees with someone they admire. I thank 
him for his work. For the last 38 or 39 months I have been chairman he 
has been a very valuable asset to our committee and a solid thinker.
  We have had a couple amendments already--the Ensign amendment and the 
McCain amendments--on the GSEs. We have had three amendments because I 
offered a side-by-side amendment on the government-sponsored 
enterprises, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Clearly, all of us, 
without exception, understand we must have reform of the GSEs. We need 
an alternative to the housing financing system. The present one is not 
working. We also understand in the absence of it, we would be in deep 
trouble in terms of housing issues today.
  The Senate has spoken on the importance of addressing the issue. My 
colleague from New Hampshire said it well when we were debating whether 
to include this. As he pointed out, this was so complex an issue, no 
one really had an alternative idea as to how to come up with a housing 
financing system, and to include one in this bill would have been 
difficult. We have debated that. But aside from the substantive issue, 
the pending amendment deals with a matter within the Budget Committee's 
jurisdiction.
  Therefore, I raise a point of order that the pending amendment 
violates section 306 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
  For those reasons, the point of order should lie against this, aside 
from the substantive debate we have already had and the full awareness 
that we must address this issue in the coming Congress if we are going 
to be successful in dealing with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For those 
reasons, I raise the point of order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and section 4(g)(3)of the Statutory 
Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, I move to waive all applicable sections of 
those acts and applicable budget resolutions for purposes of my 
amendment and ask for the yeas and nays.
  I also ask unanimous consent that I have an equivalent amount of time 
to respond on the amendment before we vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I oppose the Crapo amendment because of the 
limitations that it would impose on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  These institutions have been very helpful to homeowners in West 
Virginia who are seeking home loan modifications. I do not believe this 
is the right time to be limiting the assistance that Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac can offer to struggling homeowners in paying for their 
mortgages and keeping their homes.
  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, as the Senator from Connecticut indicated--
and I appreciate his kind remarks--we have had several votes on the GSE 
issue. Remarkably, this Senate continues to refuse to deal with Fannie 
and Freddie, the core issue of the problem on the bill we are debating. 
Fannie and Freddie are nowhere to be seen in the legislation. 
Recognizing that the Senate has refused in its votes to allow us to try 
to focus on Fannie and Freddie, which are the biggest bailouts of all--
in fact, the bailouts of Fannie and Freddie are more in volume and cost 
to the taxpayers than all other bailouts combined--this amendment 
simply says: Let's be honest with the American taxpayer and at least 
put the debt that Fannie and Freddie are now becoming responsible for 
on our calculations of the national debt.
  CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said:

       After the U.S. government assumed control in 2008 of Fannie 
     Mae and Freddie Mac--two federally chartered institutions 
     that provide credit guarantees for almost half of the 
     outstanding residential mortgages in the U.S.--the 
     Congressional Budget Office concluded that the institutions 
     had effectively become government entities whose operations 
     should be included in the federal budget.

  This amendment simply says: Let's put the calculations of debt for 
which taxpayers are now on the hook, which now totals over $130 
billion, which we are told is going to rise to $381 billion, and the 
debt, which is over $1.5 trillion, of these two institutions that is 
now on their books, let's put it in our calculation of the national 
debt.
  We are not asking to solve the problem in the bill with this 
amendment. We fought that last week. This simply says let's put it on 
the national debt.
  I urge colleagues to support the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion. The yeas and nays have 
been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Alaska (Mr. Begich), the 
Senator from Iowa (Mr. Harkin), the Senator from Delaware (Mr. 
Kaufman), the Senator from Arkansas (Mrs. Lincoln), the Senator from 
New Hampshire (Mrs. Shaheen), and the Senator from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Specter) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Alaska (Ms. Murkowski).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Alaska (Ms. 
Murkowski) would have voted ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 47, nays 46, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 151 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Bayh
     Bennet
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brown (MA)
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Kohl
     Kyl
     LeMieux
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Thune
     Udall (CO)
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Wicker

                                NAYS--46

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Brown (OH)
     Burris
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Cardin

[[Page S3810]]


     Carper
     Casey
     Conrad
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Inouye
     Johnson
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--7

     Begich
     Harkin
     Kaufman
     Lincoln
     Murkowski
     Shaheen
     Specter
  On this vote, the yeas are 47, the nays are 46. Three-fifths of the 
Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the 
motion is not agreed to. The point of order is sustained, and the 
amendment falls.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.


                           Amendment No. 3986

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, as I understand it, the next vote will occur 
on the Cornyn amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to the vote in relation to 
amendment No. 3986 offered by the Senator from Texas, Mr. Cornyn.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, let me say, if I may--I am looking to the 
leader here, if I can find him--I believe this will be the last 
recorded vote this evening. There will be potentially a couple of voice 
votes after this on matters involving, one, Senator Bond's amendment 
that I am cosponsoring with him, along with Senator Warner and Senator 
Corker--this will be the last recorded vote, but there will be a voice 
vote on the angel investor amendment Senator Bond is interested in, and 
there will be a vote on the amendment offered by Senator Udall of 
Colorado dealing with credit scores that I believe we all can support 
as well. Then we will be laying down a Lugar-Cardin or Cardin-Lugar 
amendment for discussion this evening, with a possible vote in the 
morning. Then we will be working this evening, Senator Shelby and I, to 
try to lay out some amendments tomorrow to give people a clear picture 
as to what the roadmap will be for tomorrow as well.
  So with that, I turn to Senator Cornyn.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I will make two points. No. 1: This 
amendment will help protect American taxpayers from bailouts of foreign 
governments. Greece is going to get $40 billion in loans from the IMF, 
out of which $7 billion is attributable to the contributions of the 
American taxpayer. They shouldn't have to do that unless we have an 
assurance we will be paid back.
  The second point is that Greece's current public debt relative to its 
gross domestic product is 115 percent--meaning it owes more money than 
its entire economy produces.
  Under the President's budget, in 2020, looking at the same metric for 
the U.S. Government--our debt will be 90 percent of our gross domestic 
product. If we are not careful, America will turn into Greece and need 
a bailout, except there won't be anybody there to bail us out, 
including the American taxpayer.
  I ask my colleagues to support the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I intend to support the Cornyn amendment, 
and I ask my colleagues to do so as well. Our colleague from 
Massachusetts, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator 
Kerry, has raised some very legitimate issues about the amendment that 
may need to be worked on as we move forward in our conference. But I 
believe the thrust of the amendment is a correct one. We are concerned 
about some very poor countries that may be in a different position, 
including some additional thought that may need to be put into that, 
and I respect the concerns raised by the Senator from Massachusetts.
  I believe this is a good amendment deserving of our support; 
therefore, I ask for the yeas and nays and ask my colleagues to support 
the Cornyn amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to 
be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Alaska (Mr. Begich), the 
Senator from Iowa (Mr. Harkin), the Senator from Arkansas (Mrs. 
Lincoln), the Senator from New Hampshire (Mrs. Shaheen), and the 
Senator from Pennsylvania (Mr. Specter) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Alaska (Ms. Murkowski).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Alaska (Ms. 
Murkowski) would have voted ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 94, nays 0, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 152 Leg.]

                                YEAS--94

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennet
     Bennett
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Brown (MA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burr
     Burris
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagan
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     LeMieux
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lugar
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--6

     Begich
     Harkin
     Lincoln
     Murkowski
     Shaheen
     Specter
  The amendment (No. 3986) was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote and I move to 
lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, there are two amendments I am aware of. The 
next order of business is the amendment by the Senator from Colorado, 
Mr. Udall.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 4016, offered by the Senator from Colorado, Mr. Udall.
  The Senator from Colorado is recognized.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, we have had a lot of spirited 
debate on the floor about the Wall Street Accountability Act, and there 
have been some differences. One area we all agree on is that we ought 
to empower consumers with this important piece of legislation.
  The amendment I am offering with Senator Lugar does just that. It 
provides that if you are turned down for credit because you have 
applied for a loan or you have a higher loan rate, you will have access 
to your credit score, your FICO score.
  I believe this will empower consumers, increase financial literacy in 
our country, and it is a win-win across the board. I want to thank the 
group of Senators--some 20-plus--who supported this amendment. I 
particularly thank the chairman, Senator Dodd, for his yeoman's work. I 
urge an ``aye'' vote on this important amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I thank Senator Udall. He has done a great 
job on this with Senator Lugar. They made an alternative suggestion 
that would allow the release of these credit scores on a transactional 
basis for the purchase of a automobile or a home, so you will get to 
know what the credit score is, and that will be a great value.
  I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there is no further debate, the question is 
on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 4016) was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I move to 
lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I believe the Bond-Warner-Corker amendment 
is next.

[[Page S3811]]

                            Cloture Motions

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have two cloture motions at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motions having been presented 
under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motions.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on the Dodd substitute 
     amendment No. 3739 to S. 3217, the Restoring American 
     Financial Stability Act of 2010.
         Harry Reid, Christopher J. Dodd, Tim Johnson, Jack Reed, 
           Jon Tester, Charles E. Schumer, Patty Murray, Daniel K. 
           Inouye, Kent Conrad, John F. Kerry, Roland W. Burris, 
           Mark R. Warner, Daniel K. Akaka, Sheldon Whitehouse, 
           John D. Rockefeller IV, Michael F. Bennet.

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on S. 3217, the 
     Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.
         Harry Reid, Christopher J. Dodd, Tim Johnson, Jack Reed, 
           Jon Tester, Charles E. Schumer, Patty Murray, Daniel K. 
           Inouye, Kent Conrad, John F. Kerry, Roland W. Burris, 
           Mark R. Warner, Daniel K. Akaka, John D. Rockefeller 
           IV, Sheldon Whitehouse, Michael F. Bennet.

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have conferred with the Republican leader. 
We are going to process as many amendments tonight as we can, and all 
day tomorrow. Hopefully, we will be able to work on these Wednesday, 
also. I hope everybody considers this bill as not having been 
completed. We will move forward with whatever amendments are 
appropriate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.


                Amendment No. 4056 to Amendment No. 3739

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment 
offered by Senators Bond, Warner, Corker, and myself be considered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the agreement 
be modified to include the Wyden-Grassley amendment No. 4019 to finally 
end secret holds and add that amendment to the list of amendments 
included in the agreement.
  I point out that last Thursday, the Wyden-Grassley amendment was 
pending to the financial reform bill, and it was ready for a vote by 
the Senate. Then at the last minute, out of nowhere, this bipartisan 
effort was blindsided without any notice whatever by a second-degree 
amendment that effectively prevented a vote to open government and end 
secret holds.
  In light of what happened, I think it is only fair that this 
bipartisan amendment be given the opportunity for a vote as part of 
this consent agreement.
  I also wish to make it clear that, in my view, anyone who objects to 
adding the bipartisan Wyden-Grassley amendment to this agreement is 
objecting to ending secret holds. They are objecting to even have a 
vote in the Senate on ending secret holds, therefore, allowing the 
Senate to continue to operate in secret and against ending this 
indefensible denial of the public's right to know.
  Therefore, I ask unanimous consent that the agreement be modified to 
add the Wyden-Grassley amendment to end secret holds, and it is No. 
4019.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the modification?
  Mr. RISCH. Reserving the right to object, I do not have any problem 
with the substance, but I know Senator DeMint has serious issues with 
it. We would like to have an opportunity to talk with him.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator does not have the floor.
  Mr. RISCH. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Is there objection to the original request of the Senator from 
Connecticut?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendment.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Dodd], for Mr. Bond, for 
     himself, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Warner, Mr. Brown of Massachusetts, 
     Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Begich, Mrs. Murray, and Mr. Corker, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 4056 to amendment No. 3739.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

           (Purpose: To improve section 412 and section 926)

       On page 387, strike line 13 and all that follows through 
     page 388, line 3, and insert the following:

     SEC. 412. ADJUSTING THE ACCREDITED INVESTOR STANDARD.

       (a) In General.--The Commission shall adjust any net worth 
     standard for an accredited investor, as set forth in the 
     rules of the Commission under the Securities Act of 1933, so 
     that the individual net worth of any natural person, or joint 
     net worth with the spouse of that person, at the time of 
     purchase, is more than $1,000,000 (as such amount is adjusted 
     periodically by rule of the Commission), excluding the value 
     of the primary residence of such natural person, except that 
     during the 4-year period that begins on the date of enactment 
     of this Act, any net worth standard shall be $1,000,000, 
     excluding the value of the primary residence of such natural 
     person.
       (b) Review and Adjustment.--
       (1) Initial review and adjustment.--
       (A) Initial review.--The Commission may undertake a review 
     of the definition of the term ``accredited investor'', as 
     such term applies to natural persons, to determine whether 
     the requirements of the definition, excluding the requirement 
     relating to the net worth standard described in subsection 
     (a), should be adjusted or modified for the protection of 
     investors, in the public interest, and in light of the 
     economy.
       (B) Adjustment or modification.--Upon completion of a 
     review under subparagraph (A), the Commission may, by notice 
     and comment rulemaking, make such adjustments to the 
     definition of the term ``accredited investor'', excluding 
     adjusting or modifying the requirement relating to the net 
     worth standard described in subsection (a), as such term 
     applies to natural persons, as the Commission may deem 
     appropriate for the protection of investors, in the public 
     interest, and in light of the economy.
       (2) Subsequent reviews and adjustment.--
       (A) Subsequent reviews.--Not earlier than 4 years after the 
     date of enactment of this Act, and not less frequently than 
     once every 4 years thereafter, the Commission shall undertake 
     a review of the definition, in its entirety, of the term 
     ``accredited investor'', as defined in section 230.215 of 
     title 17, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor 
     thereto, as such term applies to natural persons, to 
     determine whether the requirements of the definition should 
     be adjusted or modified for the protection of investors, in 
     the public interest, and in light of the economy.
       (B) Adjustment or modification.--Upon completion of a 
     review under subparagraph (A), the Commission may, by notice 
     and comment rulemaking, make such adjustments to the 
     definition of the term ``accredited investor'', as defined in 
     section 230.215 of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations, or 
     any successor thereto, as such term applies to natural 
     persons, as the Commission may deem appropriate for the 
     protection of investors, in the public interest, and in light 
     of the economy.
       On page 388, line 14, strike ``1 year'' and insert ``3 
     years''.
       On page 998, strike line 12 and all that follows through 
     page 1001, line 25, and insert the following:

     SEC. 926. DISQUALIFYING FELONS AND OTHER ``BAD ACTORS'' FROM 
                   REGULATION D OFFERINGS.

       Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Commission shall issue rules for the 
     disqualification of offerings and sales of securities made 
     under section 230.506 of title 17, Code of Federal 
     Regulations, that--
       (1) are substantially similar to the provisions of section 
     230.262 of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations, or any 
     successor thereto; and
       (2) disqualify any offering or sale of securities by a 
     person that--
       (A) is subject to a final order of a State securities 
     commission (or an agency or officer of a State performing 
     like functions), a State authority that supervises or 
     examines banks, savings associations, or credit unions, a 
     State insurance commission (or an agency or officer of a 
     State performing like functions), an appropriate Federal 
     banking agency, or the National Credit Union Administration, 
     that--
       (i) bars the person from--

       (I) association with an entity regulated by such 
     commission, authority, agency, or officer;
       (II) engaging in the business of securities, insurance, or 
     banking; or
       (III) engaging in savings association or credit union 
     activities; or

       (ii) constitutes a final order based on a violation of any 
     law or regulation that prohibits fraudulent, manipulative, or 
     deceptive conduct within the 10-year period ending on the 
     date of the filing of the offer or sale; or
       (B) has been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor in 
     connection with the purchase or sale of any security or 
     involving the

[[Page S3812]]

     making of any false filing with the Commission.

  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I am pleased to rise today to discuss a 
bipartisan amendment critical to small business and job creation, 
amendment No. 4056.
  Thank you to my friend and colleague Senator Dodd for his leadership 
on this amendment. I am proud to cosponsor this amendment with Senators 
Dodd, Mark Warner, Scott Brown, Cantwell, Begich, and Murray.
  Senators on both sides of the aisle agree that Wall Street needs to 
be reformed to protect Main Street from a future crisis.
  Senators on both sides of the aisle can also agree that small 
business job creation is critical to our economic recovery and 
communities in my State of Missouri and across the Nation.
  That is what this bipartisan amendment is all about--protecting the 
small business startups that are so vital to job creation and economic 
development.
  Specifically, our amendment removes onerous regulations and 
restrictions in the financial reform bill that would have 
unintentionally stifled job creation.
  The provision would have unintentionally threatened small business 
startups by delaying and limiting the availability of essential seed 
capital from qualified investors.
  Our country's entrepreneurs need immediate access to capital as they 
work to move an idea from concept to production--especially when banks 
or traditional lenders may not be willing to extend large lines of 
credit to them.
  We want to encourage--not discourage--investors to take a chance on 
these entrepreneurs by providing seed capital to startups in hopes that 
the business will flourish and remain a viable company.
  Our amendment allows this investment and job creation to continue. 
With our amendment agriculture research and biotechnology startup 
companies like those in my State of Missouri, will continue to be the 
engine of job creation.
  We all agree that we must reform Wall Street, but we must not punish 
Main Street and the very small business startups that are so critical 
to job creation.
  This bipartisan amendment will help protect the small business 
startups vital to job creation across the country, and I urge my 
colleagues to support it.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, what I would like to do, if I may, I would 
like to make a statement on the Bond, et al, amendment. If my colleague 
from Oregon would like to make some comments about this consent request 
he made, if it is not too long, then I will reserve my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.


                           Amendment No. 4019

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I thank the chairman of the committee. I 
intend to be very brief in my comments tonight. I thank the chairman 
for his indulgence.
  I note that Senator Grassley, who is on the floor, and I have 
prosecuted this cause for more open government in the Senate for over a 
decade. Senator McCaskill is here. She has tried relentlessly to do the 
same thing. I think it is very regrettable, because we have seen, once 
again, tonight, as we did on Thursday, that defenders of secret holds 
in the Senate continue to pull out all the stops, employ every tool in 
the toolbox to throw a monkey wrench into the effort to open the Senate 
to transparency and accountability.
  This has been a bipartisan effort. It has always been a bipartisan 
effort. I particularly credit my friend from Iowa, Senator Grassley, 
because when we talked about this over a decade, the two of us said we 
are going to make this bipartisan every step of the way because 
sometimes in the Senate you are in the minority, sometimes you are in 
the Senate as part of the majority, but the cause of open and 
transparent government ought to be available all the time. It should 
not matter who is in the majority and who is in the minority.
  I will say the American people are furious at the way business is 
done in Washington, DC. The fact that it has been impossible to even 
get an up-or-down vote on doing Senate business in public is a textbook 
case of why people are so angry.
  It is my intent to come with colleagues to the floor again and again 
and try to make sure that once and for all we change this pernicious 
practice, a practice that, in my view, is an indefensible violation of 
the public's right to know.
  At a minimum, every Senator ought to be on record publicly with 
respect to how they feel about doing the Senate's business in public. 
That is what this is all about.
  This is not complicated. A hold is one of the most powerful tools a 
Senator has. With a secret hold, one colleague can keep the American 
people from even getting a peak at important Senate business. That is 
not right. That is not accountable government. That is not transparent 
government.
  What we ought to do--and I commend particularly Senator Grassley, 
Senator Inhofe, and Senator Collins on the other side of the aisle; 
Senator Udall has joined me in this effort, Senator Bennet--we have 
made this bipartisan every step of the way. It is time for an up-or-
down vote in the Senate with respect to ending secret holds.
  We have not even been able to get a direct vote, though we have been 
working now for weeks and weeks on a measure that is bipartisan. The 
American people want public business done in public, and they certainly 
want Democrats and Republicans to come together. That is what Senator 
Grassley and I have sought to do.
  It is unfortunate that, once again, there has been an objection 
tonight to doing public business in public. That is something that 
ought to change around here. There is a bipartisan group of us who are 
going to stay with it until it does.
  I particularly thank the bipartisan group of colleagues on the floor 
tonight, led by Senator Grassley and Senator McCaskill. We will be 
back, and we will be back at it until there is the kind of transparency 
and openness in the way the Senate does business so, once and for all, 
every hold in the Senate has a public owner. That is what this is all 
about. If you want to put a hold on a bill or a measure, as Senator 
Grassley has said, you ought to have the guts to go public. Every hold 
ought to have a public owner. We are going to stay with it until that 
happens.
  I express my appreciation again to the chairman of the Banking 
Committee who has, at a time when he has a very important piece of 
legislation on the floor, indulged this Senator repeatedly in giving me 
the opportunity to be on the floor and prosecute this cause for more 
openness and transparency. I thank my good friend, the chairman of the 
committee. He has done an excellent job on this bill. I appreciate the 
time tonight.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to add Senator 
Tester of Montana as a cosponsor of amendment No. 4056, the Bond-Dodd, 
et al, amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I should point out that Senator Brown of 
Massachusetts, Senator Cantwell, Senator Begich, and Senator Murray are 
cosponsors of that amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
be the next amendments in order: Senator Cardin and Senator Lugar, 
amendment No. 4050, and an amendment of Senator Corker of Tennessee 
regarding preemption, with a Senator Carper amendment side by side to 
the Corker amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 4056

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I am pleased to join my colleagues Senators 
Bond, Warner, Brown, Cantwell, Begich, Murray and Tester in offering 
this amendment to sections 412 and 926 to protect investors and promote 
capital formation.
  During the Banking Committee's hearings on the financial crisis, the 
North American Securities Administrators Association, NASAA, testified 
about a serious investor problem. A growing number of private placement 
are being used to defraud ``accredited investors.'' An investor is 
deemed ``accredited,'' or financially sophisticated and able to 
withstand investment losses, if he or she has $1 million in net

[[Page S3813]]

worth, including the value of his or her home, or $200,000 in annual 
salary, amounts that have not been changed since 1982. ``Accredited 
investors'' are presumed to be able to fend for themselves, receive 
fewer protections, and are eligible to invest in private placements.
  Secretary William F. Galvin, the chief securities regulator of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, stated that ``my office has seen a 
dramatic increase in the number of 506 [private placement] transactions 
sold to inexperienced investors who, on paper, may have met the 
accreditation standards but in reality didn't understand the 
investments, could not incur the risk of loss these transactions often 
entail and did not have the financial sophistication to monitor or 
evaluate their investments.''
  The committee was concerned to protect such investors, particularly 
those who fall victim to sellers who repeatedly engage in securities 
fraud.
  NASAA testified that:

       These offerings enjoy an exemption from registration under 
     federal securities law, so they receive virtually no 
     regulatory scrutiny even where the promoters or broker-
     dealers have a criminal or disciplinary history. As a result, 
     Rule 506 offerings have become the favorite vehicle under 
     Regulation D, and many of them are fraudulent.

  Regarding the ``accredited investor'' standard, NASAA testified that 
``[I]nflation has seriously eroded the efficacy of the existing 
thresholds in the definition of `accredited investor' since their 
adoption in 1982'' and supports periodic adjustments of these 
standards.
  For the past several weeks, I have worked with and consulted the 
North American Securities Administrators Association, Angel Capital 
Association, Private Equity Council and others, and I thank them. We 
have crafted language suited to protect investors from those 
unscrupulous persons while encouraging capital formation.
  New section 926 would disqualify felons and other ``bad actors'' who 
have violated Federal and State securities laws from continuing to take 
advantage of the rule 506 private placement process. This will reduce 
the danger of fraud in private placements.
  New section 412 would amend the ``accredited investor'' wealth 
threshold by excluding the value of an investor's primary residence. 
For example, a widow whose financial wealth was $1 million but had the 
majority of that in the value of her home and had a salary of less than 
$200,000, would not be deemed to be an ``accredited investor.'' 
Instead, she would benefit from the broader range of protections 
available generally to investors. There are several reasons for this 
change:
  The net worth test signals a person's ability to bear a loss. If the 
cushion for a loss is a person's home, a person making a bad investment 
could end up losing his or her home.
  Net worth is intended to be a proxy for financial experience and 
sophistication. Some people who own valuable homes may not be 
sophisticated investors.
  Furthermore, real estate prices have greatly appreciated since the 
net worth standard for accredited investors was adopted in 1982. 
Accordingly, many more investors are now able to meet the current 
thresholds based on the value of their homes than was the case in 1982, 
which is inconsistent with original regulatory intent.
  Also, the SEC would be directed to review the financial standards at 
least 4 years to make sure the standards stay relevant.
  I am pleased at the support the legislative proposals have received. 
The North American Securities Administrators Association on April 27, 
2010 issued a letter stating,

       We strongly support the adoption of a disqualification 
     provision to prevent recidivists from conducting securities 
     offerings under Regulation D, Rule 506 (a regulatory 
     exemption for private placements). This change would provide 
     much needed investor protection from securities law violators 
     and would not prevent legitimate issuers, including small 
     businesses, who use this exemption, to raise capital. 
     Participants in the Regulation D offerings are ``accredited 
     investors'' as established under SEC rules. The monetary 
     standards for determining who qualifies for ``accredited 
     investor'' status haven't changed since it was established in 
     1982 and inflation has rendered them almost meaningless. 
     Therefore, we support, at a minimum, excluding the investor's 
     primary residence from the net worth standard.

  The Angel Capital Association on April 21, 2010 issued a statement 
saying that ``[t]hese amendments will ensure that high growth 
entrepreneurs have access to a strong pool of angel capital and that 
investors are better protected from fraud.''
  The purposes of sections 412 and 926 of the bill have been to better 
protect investors while facilitating capital formation. This amendment 
more completely accomplishes these goals.
  It is an important contribution Senator Bond has made, along with 
others, to this bill. It was never our intention at all. Startup 
companies need what are called angel investors who are critically 
important for startup ideas that do not necessarily attract the 
traditional capital to get behind them. People who step up and take a 
chance on new ideas deserve some special recognition. The fact is, they 
have played a very critical role in capital formation over the years.
  Therefore, I was pleased to be able to accept the amendment and make 
it a part of this bill. This will allow for efficient capital access 
for entrepreneurs and also provide fraud protection for investors.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
a letter from the Angel Capital Association.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

          [From the Angel Capital Association, Apr. 21, 2010]

 Angel Capital Association Supports Amendments to Financial Reform Bill


     Sen. Dodd's amendments allow for efficient capital access for 
     entrepreneurs and also improve fraud protection for investors

       Kansas City, MO.--The Angel Capital Association (ACA) 
     supports two amendments that we understand will be offered by 
     Sen Christopher Dodd on the Restoring American Financial 
     Stability Act of 2010. These amendments will ensure that high 
     growth entrepreneurs have access to a strong pool of angel 
     capital and that investors are better protected from fraud.
       ACA has been vocal in our concerns about this bill to date 
     as two of the original sections had the potential of 
     significantly reducing the number of accredited angel 
     investors and creating complicated and potentially expensive 
     regulations for entrepreneurs raising angel financing. ``It 
     is clear that concerns conveyed by ACA and many others about 
     hurting start-up businesses struck a chord with Sen. Dodd and 
     his staff,'' said Elizabeth Karter, ACA's public policy 
     committee chair and president of the Angel Investor Forum in 
     Connecticut. ``They have worked hard to improve the bill so 
     that it balances the importance of small business capital 
     formation while protecting angels and other types of private 
     investors from securities law violators.''
       The amendments bring new meanings to two sections of the 
     bill:
     Section 412: Adjusting the Accredited Investor Standard.
       The thresholds for ``accredited investor'' would stay the 
     same as they are currently, although the standard for net 
     worth of $1 million would now exclude the investor's primary 
     residence. While ACA would have preferred no adjustment to 
     the standard for angel investors, we believe this is a good 
     compromise.
       The act would also have the Securities and Exchange 
     Commission review the thresholds at least every four years, 
     with any adjustments considering the protection of investors, 
     the public interest and the state of the economy. ``We 
     appreciate the direction to consider the economic impact of 
     any adjustments to accredited investor standards in the 
     future, as we believe that innovative start-up businesses are 
     some of the most important creators of high quality jobs in 
     the country,'' said Karter.
     Section 926. Regulation D Offerings.
       The amendment deletes all previous language and 
     disqualifies individuals who have been determined to be ``bad 
     actors'' by Federal and State authorities from using 
     Regulation D 506 private offerings (which include angel 
     investments, but many other types of investments as well).
       ``ACA particularly likes this amendment because not only 
     does it increase investor protections, but it ensures uniform 
     regulation of these private offerings across the United 
     States and it keeps the reporting requirements for 
     entrepreneurs the same as they are currently. The current 
     uniform system is efficient for small businesses that attract 
     angel capital,'' said Marianne Hudson, executive director of 
     ACA.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I thank Senator Bond. He is the initiator of 
the idea. Others joined with him. It is, again, a strong contribution 
to this bill.
  I see my colleagues from Indiana, Kansas, and Maryland. I yield the 
floor.

[[Page S3814]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to be added as 
a cosponsor of the Bond amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                Amendment No. 3789, as Further Modified

  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I call up in the regular order my 
amendment No. 3789 and send a modification to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment No. 3789 is now pending. It is 
further modified.
  The amendment, as further modified, is as follows:

(Purpose: To provide for an exclusion from the authority of the Bureau 
of Consumer Financial Protection for certain automobile manufacturers, 
                        and for other purposes)

       At the end of subtitle B of title X, add the following:

     SEC. 1030. EXCLUSION FOR AUTO DEALERS.

       (a) In General.--The Director and the Bureau may not 
     exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or any 
     other authority, including authority to order assessments 
     over a motor vehicle dealer that is predominantly engaged in 
     the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and 
     servicing of motor vehicles, or both.
       (b) Certain Functions Excepted.--The provisions of 
     subsection (a) shall not apply to any person, to the extent 
     that such person--
       (1) provides consumers with any services related to 
     residential or commercial mortgages and self-financing 
     transactions involving real property;
       (2) operates a line of business that involves the extension 
     of retail credit or retail leases involving motor vehicles, 
     and in which--
       (A) the extension of retail credit or retail leases are 
     provided directly to consumers; and
       (B) the contract governing such extension of retail credit 
     or retail leases is not predominantly assigned to a third-
     party finance or leasing source; or
       (3) offers or provides a consumer financial product or 
     service not involving or related to the sale, financing, 
     leasing, rental, repair, refurbishment, maintenance, or other 
     servicing of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, or any 
     related or ancillary product or service.
       (c) No Impact on Prior Authority.--Nothing in this section 
     shall be construed to modify, limit, or supersede the 
     rulemaking or enforcement authority over motor vehicle 
     dealers that could be exercised by any Federal department or 
     agency on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.
       (d) No Transfer of Certain Authority.--Notwithstanding any 
     other provision of this Act, the consumer financial 
     protection functions of the Board of Governors and the 
     Federal Trade Commission shall not be transferred to the 
     Director or the Bureau to the extent such functions are with 
     respect to a person described under subsection (a).
       (e) Coordination With Office of Service Member Affairs.--
     The Board of Governors and the Federal Trade Commission shall 
     coordinate with the Office of Service Member Affairs, to 
     ensure that--
       (1) service members and their families are educated and 
     empowered to make better informed decisions regarding 
     consumer financial products and services offered by motor 
     vehicle dealers, with a focus on motor vehicle dealers in the 
     proximity of military installations; and
       (2) complaints by service members and their families 
     concerning such motor vehicle dealers are effectively 
     monitored and responded to, and where appropriate, 
     enforcement action is pursued by the authorized agencies.
       (f) Definitions.--For purposes of this section, the 
     following definitions shall apply:
       (1) Motor vehicle.--The term ``motor vehicle'' means--
       (A) any self-propelled vehicle designed for transporting 
     persons or property on a street, highway, or other road;
       (B) recreational boats and marine equipment;
       (C) motorcycles;
       (D) motor homes, recreational vehicle trailers, and slide-
     in campers, as those terms are defined in sections 571.3 and 
     575.103 (d) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, or any 
     successor thereto; and
       (E) other vehicles that are titled and sold through 
     dealers.
       (2) Motor vehicle dealer.--The term ``motor vehicle 
     dealer'' means any person or resident in the United States, 
     or any territory of the United States, who is licensed by a 
     State, a territory of the United States, or the District of 
     Columbia to engage in the sale of motor vehicles.

  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I am not going to talk on this 
amendment now. This is the amendment about the auto dealers and that 
they only be regulated at one time and at one place. That is what we 
are trying to get to.
  I hope we can get to a majority vote on this amendment. I think that 
would be appropriate. It is a major issue, and I look forward to, at 
some point in time, when we are considering this bill, having a vote on 
it with a majority, not a supermajority, requirement.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.


                Amendment No. 4050 to Amendment No. 3739

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 4050.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maryland [Mr. Cardin], for himself, Mr. 
     Lugar, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Feingold, Mr. Merkley, 
     Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Whitehouse, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 4050 to amendment No. 3739.

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To require the disclosure of payments by resource extraction 
                                issuers)

       On page 1187, line 9, strike ``effective.'' insert the 
     following: ``effective.

                Subtitle K--Resource Extraction Issuers

     SEC. 995. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) It is in the interest of the United States to promote 
     good governance in the extractive industries sector. 
     Transparency in revenue payments benefits oil, gas, and 
     mining companies, because it improves the business climate in 
     which such companies work, increases the reliability of 
     commodity supplies upon which businesses and people in the 
     United States rely, and promotes greater energy security.
       (2) Companies in the extractive industries sector face 
     unique tax and reputational risks, in the form of country-
     specific taxes and regulations. Exposure to these risks is 
     heightened by the substantial capital employed in the 
     extractive industries, and the often opaque and unaccountable 
     management of natural resource revenues by foreign 
     governments, which in turn creates unstable and high-cost 
     operating environments for multinational companies. The 
     effects of these risks are material to investors.

     SEC. 996. DISCLOSURE OF PAYMENTS BY RESOURCE EXTRACTION 
                   ISSUERS.

       Section 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 
     U.S.C. 78m), as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at 
     the end the following:
       ``(p) Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction 
     Issuers.--
       ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection--
       ``(A) the term `commercial development of oil, natural gas, 
     or minerals' includes exploration, extraction, processing, 
     export, and other significant actions relating to oil, 
     natural gas, or minerals, or the acquisition of a license for 
     any such activity, as determined by the Commission;
       ``(B) the term `foreign government' means a foreign 
     government, a department, agency, or instrumentality of a 
     foreign government, or a company owned by a foreign 
     government, as determined by the Commission;
       ``(C) the term `payment'--
       ``(i) means a payment that is--

       ``(I) made to further the commercial development of oil, 
     natural gas, or minerals; and
       ``(II) not de minimis; and

       ``(ii) includes taxes, royalties, fees (including license 
     fees), production entitlements, bonuses, and other material 
     benefits, that the Commission, consistent with the guidelines 
     of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (to the 
     extent practicable), determines are part of the commonly 
     recognized revenue stream for the commercial development of 
     oil, natural gas, or minerals;
       ``(D) the term `resource extraction issuer' means an issuer 
     that--
       ``(i) is required to file an annual report with the 
     Commission; and
       ``(ii) engages in the commercial development of oil, 
     natural gas, or minerals;
       ``(E) the term `interactive data format' means an 
     electronic data format in which pieces of information are 
     identified using an interactive data standard; and
       ``(F) the term `interactive data standard' means 
     standardized list of electronic tags that mark information 
     included in the annual report of a resource extraction 
     issuer.
       ``(2) Disclosure.--
       ``(A) Information required.--Not later than 270 days after 
     the date of enactment of the Restoring American Financial 
     Stability Act of 2010, the Commission shall issue final rules 
     that require each resource extraction issuer to include in an 
     annual report of the resource extraction issuer information 
     relating to any payment made by the resource extraction 
     issuer, a subsidiary of the resource extraction issuer, or an 
     entity under the control of the resource extraction issuer to 
     a foreign government or the Federal Government for the 
     purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or 
     minerals, including--
       ``(i) the type and total amount of such payments made for 
     each project of the resource extraction issuer relating to 
     the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals; 
     and
       ``(ii) the type and total amount of such payments made to 
     each government.
       ``(B) Consultation in rulemaking.--In issuing rules under 
     subparagraph (A), the Commission may consult with any agency 
     or

[[Page S3815]]

     entity that the Commission determines is relevant.
       ``(C) Interactive data format.--The rules issued under 
     subparagraph (A) shall require that the information included 
     in the annual report of a resource extraction issuer be 
     submitted in an interactive data format.
       ``(D) Interactive data standard.--
       ``(i) In general.--The rules issued under subparagraph (A) 
     shall establish an interactive data standard for the 
     information included in the annual report of a resource 
     extraction issuer.
       ``(ii) Electronic tags.--The interactive data standard 
     shall include electronic tags that identify, for any payments 
     made by a resource extraction issuer to a foreign government 
     or the Federal Government--

       ``(I) the total amounts of the payments, by category;
       ``(II) the currency used to make the payments;
       ``(III) the financial period in which the payments were 
     made;
       ``(IV) the business segment of the resource extraction 
     issuer that made the payments;
       ``(V) the government that received the payments, and the 
     country in which the government is located;
       ``(VI) the project of the resource extraction issuer to 
     which the payments relate; and
       ``(VII) such other information as the Commission may 
     determine is necessary or appropriate in the public interest 
     or for the protection of investors.

       ``(E) International transparency efforts.--To the extent 
     practicable, the rules issued under subparagraph (A) shall 
     support the commitment of the Federal Government to 
     international transparency promotion efforts relating to the 
     commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals.
       ``(F) Effective date.--With respect to each resource 
     extraction issuer, the final rules issued under subparagraph 
     (A) shall take effect on the date on which the resource 
     extraction issuer is required to submit an annual report 
     relating to the fiscal year of the resource extraction issuer 
     that ends not earlier than 1 year after the date on which the 
     Commission issues final rules under subparagraph (A).
       ``(3) Public availability of information.--
       ``(A) In general.--To the extent practicable, the 
     Commission shall make available online, to the public, a 
     compilation of the information required to be submitted under 
     the rules issued under paragraph (2)(A).
       ``(B) Other information.--Nothing in this paragraph shall 
     require the Commission to make available online information 
     other than the information required to be submitted under the 
     rules issued under paragraph (2)(A).
       ``(4) Authorization of appropriations.--There are 
     authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such sums as 
     may be necessary to carry out this subsection.''.

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I wish to take a few minutes to thank 
Senator Dodd for his extraordinary leadership on this bill. I know he 
is working through a lot of amendments. I know a lot of us have been 
urging him to allow us to present amendments. I know he has been 
challenged by the efforts on trying to schedule votes on amendments. I 
thank him, on behalf of all his colleagues in the Senate, for his 
extraordinary leadership in bringing this bill forward. I thank Senator 
Shelby for working with Senator Dodd. I know we are close to bringing 
this bill to completion. I am very proud to be a supporter of this 
bill. It is critically important that we do what we need to do in 
regulating Wall Street.
  This amendment is a bipartisan amendment. Senator Lugar has filed a 
bill, of which I am a proud cosponsor, that accomplishes basically the 
same purpose. He has been a real leader in the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee on transparency in the oil industry and its contracts.
  The nature of the oil, gas, and mining sector means that companies 
often have to operate in countries that are often autocratic, unstable, 
or both. Investors need to know the full extent of a company's exposure 
when they are operating in countries where they are subject to 
expropriation, political and social turmoil, and reputational risks.
  In Nigeria, for example, American companies have taken oilfields 
offline because of rebel activity and instability in the Niger Delta. 
In 2009, Nigeria was producing almost 1 million barrels less than it is 
able to produce because of conflict and instability. With so much 
production offline, American oil companies, such as Chevron and Exxon, 
have lost jobs and have lost profits and are forced to pay higher 
production costs because of added security.
  This amendment goes a long way in achieving that transparency by 
requiring all foreign and domestic companies registered with the U.S. 
Securities and Exchange Commission to report, in their annual reports 
to the SEC, how much they pay each government for access to their oil, 
gas, and minerals.
  In short, this amendment is a critical part of the increased 
transparency and good governance we have been striving to achieve in 
the financial industry. We have been working with a lot of groups on 
perfecting this amendment, and we have made some changes that will give 
the SEC the utmost flexibility in defining how these reports will be 
made so that we not get the transparency we need without burdening the 
companies.
  I thank all involved in the modifications that have been made to this 
amendment from how it was originally filed in order to make it not a 
burden on the industry but to provide the necessary information to 
investors.
  This amendment also is about creating jobs and preserving jobs. This 
amendment is important because it will help create and preserve U.S. 
jobs in the oil, gas, and mining sector by improving the conditions in 
which oil and mining companies have to work.
  Transparency will help create more stable governments, which in turn 
allows U.S. companies to operate more freely--and on a level playing 
field--in markets that otherwise are too risky or unstable.
  This is a bipartisan amendment because Democratic and Republican 
colleagues both know we are creating a new standard of transparency 
that will apply to the world's extractive industries and is in the best 
interest of companies in competing on a level playing field. That has 
been what Senator Lugar has been standing for within the Senate 
Committee on Foreign Relations, and I applaud him on his leadership.
  In fact, this amendment would apply to all oil, gas, and mining 
companies required to file periodic reports with the SEC, which 
includes 90 percent of the major internationally operating oil 
companies and 8 out of the 10 largest mining companies in the world--
only 2 of which are U.S. companies.
  We currently have a voluntary international standard for promoting 
transparency. A number of countries and companies have joined the 
Extracted Industries Transparency Initiative, an excellent initiative 
that has made tremendous strides in changing the cultural secrecy that 
surrounds extractive industries. But too many countries and too many 
companies remain outside this voluntary system.
  I had the honor of chairing the Helsinki Commission for this 
Congress. This has been one of our top priorities because it deals with 
good governance as well as investors knowing whether a company is 
making payments. The U.S. needs to take a leadership position in regard 
to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. This amendment, 
attached to this bill, will go a long way in promoting that leadership 
for the United States.
  The notion of transparency has been endorsed by the G8, the IMF, the 
World Bank, and a number of regional development banks. It is clear to 
the financial leaders of the world that transparency in natural 
resources development is key to holding government leaders accountable 
for the needs of their citizens and not just building up their personal 
offshore bank accounts.
  I urge my colleagues to stand up for investors and citizens and give 
them the information they need to hold governments accountable. I urge 
my colleagues to join me and the other cosponsors of this amendment and 
support the creation of a historic transparency standard that will 
pierce the veil of secrecy that fosters so much corruption and 
instability in resource-rich countries.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, I join my distinguished colleague in 
commending the work of Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby and the 
privilege of offering this amendment now with Senator Cardin.
  I rise to support the transparency amendment, No. 4050, introduced by 
Senator Cardin on behalf of myself, Senator Durbin, Senator Schumer, 
Senator Feingold, Senator Merkley, Senator Johnson, and Senator 
Whitehouse. This amendment builds on language introduced in the Energy 
Security Through Transparency Act of 2009. If passed, the amendment 
would help to reverse the ``resource curse'' by

[[Page S3816]]

revealing payments made here and abroad to governments for oil, gas, 
and minerals.
  The Senate debate on financial regulatory reform has included a great 
deal of debate on transparency. Transparency empowers citizens, 
investors, regulators, and other watchdogs and is a necessary 
ingredient of good governance for countries and companies alike. 
Adoption of the Cardin-Lugar amendment would bring a major step in 
favor of increased transparency at home and abroad. Its passage would 
empower investors to have a more complete view of the value of their 
holdings. It would bring more information to global commodity markets, 
which would benefit price stability. More importantly, it would help 
empower citizens to hold their governments to account for the decisions 
made by their governments in the management of valuable oil, gas, and 
mineral resources and revenues.
  In countries abundant in natural resources, corruption and 
authoritarianism, transparency is a vital tool. Yet in recent weeks we 
have also been reminded of the need for greater transparency in 
management at home. The amendment builds on the findings of a Senate 
Committee on Foreign Relations staff report entitled the ``Petroleum 
and Poverty Paradox: Assessing U.S. and International Community Efforts 
to Fight the Resource Curse,'' which noted that many resource-rich 
countries that should be well off are, in fact, terribly poor.
  History shows that oil, gas reserves, and minerals frequently can be 
a bane, not a blessing, for poor countries, leading to corruption, 
wasteful spending, military adventurism, and instability. Too often, 
oil money intended for a nation's poor ends up lining the pockets of 
the rich or is squandered on showcase projects instead of productive 
investments. A classic case is Nigeria, the eighth largest oil 
exporter. Despite $\1/2\ trillion in revenues since the 1960s, poverty 
has increased, corruption is rife, and violence roils the oil-rich 
Niger Delta.
  This ``resource curse'' affects us as well as producing countries. It 
exacerbates global poverty which can be a seedbed for terrorism, it 
empowers autocrats and dictators, and it can crimp world petroleum 
supplies by breeding instability.
  The essential issue at stake is a citizen's right to hold its 
government to account. Americans would not tolerate the Congress 
denying them access to revenues our Treasury collects. We cannot force 
foreign governments to treat their citizens as we would hope, but this 
amendment would make it much more difficult to hide the truth.
  Transparency also will benefit Americans at home. Improved governance 
of extractive industries will improve investment climates for our 
companies abroad, it will increase the reliability of commodity 
supplies upon which businesses and people in the United States rely, 
and it will promote greater energy security.
  This amendment requires foreign and domestic companies listed on U.S. 
stock exchanges and exchanging American depository receipts to disclose 
in their regular SEC filings their extractive payments to governments 
for oil, gas, and mining.
  Nothing in this amendment accuses companies of malfeasance. Quite the 
contrary. Several oil, gas, and minerals companies have taken important 
steps in this arena. The aforementioned Foreign Relations Committee 
minority staff report details several examples of individuals going the 
extra mile to convince governments of the importance of transparency 
and to provide training to meet international standards.
  Yet the value of companies themselves can be negatively impacted when 
there is not transparency. As noted in the findings of this amendment:

       Companies in the extractive sector face unique tax and 
     reputational risks in the form of country-specific taxes and 
     regulations. Exposure to these risks is heightened by the 
     substantial capital employed in the extractive industries, 
     and the often opaque and unaccountable management of natural 
     resource revenues by foreign governments, which in turn 
     creates unstable and high-cost operating environments for 
     multinational companies. The effects of these risks are 
     material to investors.

  Many analysts say among the root causes of the current financial 
crisis was a failure by investors to have access to sufficient 
information about their investments and an excessive reliance on the 
judgments of the ratings agencies, which proved to be highly faulty. 
That experience argues strongly for more disclosure and information.

  Considering the well-established link between oil payments and the 
business climate, many investors might be interested in this 
information--particularly socially responsible investors.
  This domestic action will complement multilateral transparency 
efforts such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative--the 
EITI--under which some countries are beginning to require all 
extractive companies operating in their territories to publicly report 
their payments.
  We encourage the President to work with members of the G8 and the G20 
to promote similar disclosures through their exchanges and their 
jurisdictions. As Secretary Clinton noted in her questions for the 
record on January 12, 2009:

       President-Elect Obama has put a high priority on promoting 
     transparency in government more broadly. I look forward to 
     working with the President-Elect and the Treasury Department 
     to promote greater transparency at the G-8 and now the G-20 
     as well.

  In developing this amendment, our staffs consulted with the 
Secretary, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury 
Department, the Department of the Interior, energy companies, mining 
companies, the industry representatives, and nongovernmental 
organizations.
  When financial markets see stable economic growth and political 
organization in resource-rich countries, supplies are more reliable and 
risk premiums factored into the process at the gas pump are diminished. 
Information is critical to maintaining healthy economies and healthy 
political systems. I ask for your support on passage of this important 
amendment.
  I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I am happy to come to the Senate floor and 
join in support of the Cardin-Lugar amendment. I am an original 
cosponsor along with Senators Feingold, Whitehouse, and others. It is 
very straightforward, as Senator Lugar explained, and Senator Cardin 
before him.
  It would require companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange to 
disclose in their SEC filings extractive payments made to governments 
for oil, gas, and mining. This encourages greater corporate 
transparency, particularly in terms of those operating in countries 
where corruption and violence are rampant.
  I would also say there is a complementary amendment, which I hope 
will be considered at the same time because it is in that same vein. It 
is amendment No. 3997, offered by Senators Brownback, Feingold, and 
myself, and it basically would make the same requirement related to 
extractive minerals.
  Mr. President, I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo 5 years ago 
with Senator Brownback. We visited Goma, and I returned to that 
location just a few months ago with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. On 
those two visits I saw a situation in Goma which is almost impossible 
to describe. Imagine one of the poorest places on Earth, where people 
literally are starving to death, where they are facing the scourge of 
disease, where malaria and AIDS cuts short the lives of far too many, 
where there are thousands who are bunched into these just desolate and 
desperate refugee camps, and then imagine nearby an active volcano. 
That is the situation in Goma.
  If you think that is the combination that would be the worst on 
Earth, there is more. Superimpose on this misfortune an ongoing war and 
unrest that has been part of this section of Africa at least since the 
time of the Rwandan genocide--that long--more than 16 years ago. 
Unspeakable crimes are being committed, particularly against women in 
this region, and one of the major reasons is this turns out to be one 
of the most powerful sections of Africa. You will find Dian Fossey's 
gorillas, and you will find some of the richest stores of virgin timber 
and extractive minerals in the world. The fighting goes on every single 
day, and these poor people are caught in the crossfire of this terrible 
conflict. Armed militias--some left over from

[[Page S3817]]

the genocide in Rwanda--continue to operate in the region, terrorizing 
citizens and inflicting horrific brutality. The United Nations has a 
20,000-member peacekeeping force, known as MONUC, but it isn't enough.
  What is really behind this ongoing violence? Money. Some of it is a 
result of a weak Congolese state, and some of the problem is due to the 
large number of criminals who have invaded this nation. But what helps 
fund the continued violence is an illicit minerals trade that enriches 
and helps arm those who continue this mayhem.
  Most people probably don't realize the products we use every day--
from automobiles to cell phones--may use one of these minerals from 
this area of conflict and that there is a possibility it was mined from 
an area of great violence.
  We can't begin to solve the problems of eastern Congo without 
addressing where the armed groups are receiving their funding, mainly 
from the mining of a number of key conflict minerals. We, as a nation 
of consumers as well as industry, have a responsibility to ensure that 
our economic activity does not support such violence.
  That is why I join with Senators Brownback and Feingold to support 
the Congo conflict minerals amendment, which is now pending on this 
bill. It is a requirement that if a company registered in the United 
States uses any of a small list of key minerals from the Congo--
minerals known to be involved in the conflict areas--then such usage 
must be disclosed in that company's SEC disclosure. Such companies can 
also include additional information to indicate the steps they have 
taken to ensure their minerals were mined and paid for legitimately and 
legally.
  The requirement would sunset in 5 years unless the Secretary of State 
certifies that the violence continues to receive support from the 
mineral trade. It is a reasonable step to shed some light on this 
literally life-and-death issue, and it encourages companies using these 
minerals to source them responsibly.
  I thank Senators Dodd and Shelby for their consideration of this 
amendment. I hope, like the Cardin-Lugar amendment, there will be a 
chance 
for this Brownback-Feingold-Durbin amendment to be considered before 
this bill is completed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Merkley). The Senator from Connecticut.


                           Amendment No. 4056

  Mr. DODD. I, too, wish to make a comment, but before I do, I think 
the pending business before the Senate and the request consent is the 
Bond amendment. Has that been adopted? I urge the question, if I can.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, the 
amendment is pending.
  Is there further debate on the amendment?
  If not, the question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 4056) was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. I move to reconsider and lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 4050

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I would like to make a few comments on 
the two proposals. One is, I say to my 
good friend from Illinois, Senator 
Shelby and I have agreed to ac-
cept the Brownback-Cardin--Cardin-Brownback-Durbin amendment. I am not 
sure who the principal authors are. Maybe we can do that on a voice 
vote. We submitted that as part of the managers' amendment but, given 
the pace of the managers' amendment, it may be necessary to deal with 
that separately. But I thank my colleagues for that.
  I commend my good friends, Senator Cardin and Senator Lugar from 
Indiana, once again. He has taken a leadership role. I am struck by the 
fact that just a little while ago we adopted the Cornyn amendment. The 
Cornyn amendment puts restraints on the IMF's ability to accept that in 
some very poor countries they are going to have to repay their IMF 
obligations. That amendment needs some work. But having adopted that 
amendment almost unanimously it is now critically important we adopt 
this amendment, in my view, because it complements, in a sense, the 
Cornyn amendment. Many of these people living in poor countries have 
little ability--despite being mineral and resource rich--to accumulate 
the wealth so they can avoid having to have IMF assistance to bail them 
out or give them assistance during difficult times.
  If we are truly interested in the language of the Cornyn amendment, 
then we must complement it, in my view, by accepting the Cardin-Lugar 
amendment because it goes beyond just the Congo. Despite the good work 
being done on that amendment, this goes beyond that.
  So I thank Senators Cardin and Lugar for their important bipartisan 
amendment requiring additional disclosure to millions of investors who 
are making decisions about investing in the extractive industries--
mainly oil, natural gas, and mining--around the world. And I thank them 
for modifying the original amendment to streamline the reporting 
requirements, adapt as far as practicable the voluntary Extractive 
Industries Transparency Initiative disclosure standards, and make other 
changes to ease implementation.
  We have a similar but more targeted amendment from Senator Brownback, 
Senator Durbin, and Senator Cardin, I think, focused on the Congo and 
adjoining countries, since mining operations there have for years 
helped fuel the brutally violent militias that have caused so much 
damage and heartbreak, and killed so many in that strife-torn region. 
Given the ongoing emergency in the Congo, I am glad that Senator Shelby 
and I have been able to work out an agreement to adopt this Congo 
amendment.
  This amendment by Senator Cardin is much broader, and is designed to 
impose a new international transparency standard on companies listed 
and traded on US exchanges who are active in the oil and gas and mining 
industries. Senator Cardin and Senator Lugar have focused on these 
industries because in many places, especially in Africa, they involve 
unique exposures to country- and industry-specific risks--including 
reputational risks, tax and regulatory risks, expropriation risks, and 
others--as they conduct business operations in countries where 
governance and accountability systems are rudimentary, at best--and 
where corruption, secrecy and a lack of transparency regarding public 
finance are pervasive. Those risks are heightened by the very large 
multi-year investments that are required of this industry, their need 
to gain access to natural resources, and the often compelling national 
security considerations tied to the products developed by this 
industry.
  In the last few decades many American investors have begun to 
consider more seriously the ethical and socially responsible 
implications of their investments, and this amendment is a part of that 
larger effort. It is also a part of broader international effort to 
combat corruption, poverty, hunger and disease throughout Africa, Asia 
and Central America by providing a mechanism to ensure greater 
transparency for the many ways in which sometimes corrupt and 
authoritarian governments in these regions take in huge revenue flows 
from oil and gas producers or mining companies, and then fail to 
adequately meet the needs of their own vulnerable populations with 
social spending funded by the income from those projects.
  Let me remind my colleagues of the scale of this problem. A recent 
report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under the leadership 
of Senator Lugar and Senator Kerry concluded that 3.5 billion people 
live in countries rich in extractive natural resources such as oil, 
gas, minerals and timber. With good governance and transparency, these 
resources can generate vast sums to foster growth and reduce poverty. 
Instead, many of these countries have weak governance and 
administrative systems, so the revenues have often served to actually 
worsen corruption and generate violent conflict.
  It is known as the ``resource curse,'' or the ``petroleum and poverty 
paradox,'' where countries with huge revenue flows from energy 
development also frequently have some of the highest rates of poverty, 
corruption and violence. Where is all that money going? This amendment, 
the Lugar-Cardin Amendment, is a first step toward addressing that 
issue by setting a new

[[Page S3818]]

international standard for disclosure. I hope that other nations, and 
those in charge of major exchanges in London, Hong Kong and elsewhere, 
would follow our lead on this. There is some indication of interest 
there, especially in the British Parliament.
  The amendment would require companies to better account for the risks 
associated with such investments by disclosing basic information about 
payments to governments. I believe that many Americans--including 
investors and other stakeholders in these firms--would consider this 
kind of information material and relevant to their decisions about 
whether or not to invest, or whether to divest their current holdings, 
from firms engaged in this sort of activity. On its face this interest 
appears not to rise to the level of materiality for investors that 
currently governs the disclosure requirements of public companies under 
Federal securities laws. That is a question we may want to look at more 
closely in the Banking Committee. There are also questions about the 
precedent this would set for Congress to require disclosures usually 
considered to be non-material.
  Currently, nearly thirty countries are participants in a voluntary 
program designed to increase transparency called the EITI. That is an 
important initiative, and I applaud it. Strengthening America's 
leadership in the program, with broad new requirements for greater 
disclosure by resource extractive companies operating around the world, 
would be an important step. Senators Cardin and Lugar have modified his 
amendment to base some of the reporting on the standards which have 
evolved within this initiative, supported by many oil, energy and 
mining companies, and many countries. I am not persuaded by the 
arguments some make that this would weaken the EITI and make some 
nations less prone to participate in it. To the contrary, I believe it 
would strengthen the initiative. And I believe those who have worked 
closely within EITI agree.
  Because we have not yet been able to hold hearings on this measure 
this year--something which I had hoped to do in the Banking Committee 
once we had completed this historic financial reform measure--I am not 
sure we have all the precise details and the language exactly right, 
but the thrust is exactly right and, therefore, in my view, the 
amendment by Senators Cardin and Lugar ought to be adopted. We can work 
on the details, if we have to, later on, but we should not miss this 
opportunity provided by this legislation to make this historic 
contribution to something that not only benefits investors here at home 
but might make a huge difference in the wealth and opportunity in these 
countries.
  Again, in some ways I didn't plan it this way, but the fact we have 
adopted the Cornyn amendment dealing with the International Monetary 
Fund--now, if you wanted to make a difference in all that, this 
amendment I think does all that.
  I thank my two colleagues--Senator Cardin, who is relatively new to 
this institution but has brought a history of his interest in this 
subject matter. Of course, my 30 years with Senator Lugar have been 
among the most joyous of the relationships I have had in this body. He 
never ceases to amaze me in his commitment, his energy, and his passion 
on these issues, and we are a richer and better country because of his 
participation in these debates over many years. Again, I am delighted 
to be associated with him in an effort such as this. I urge my 
colleagues tomorrow, either on voice vote or recorded vote, to adopt 
the Cardin-Lugar amendment.
  I would like to add Senators Baucus, and I believe I have, Senator 
Tester, as cosponsors of the Bond-Dodd, et al., amendment, No. 4056.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. I commend the work of Senator Dodd on this legislation. We 
have more work to do.
  I rise to speak to an amendment I have filed, amendment No. 3891, the 
homeowners' relief and stabilization amendment.
  The reason I rise is to speak about a topic we have all talked about 
and we have taken action about over the last couple years. We have had 
some progress made, but unfortunately not enough progress has been 
made. I speak tonight about foreclosures.
  Foreclosures in America are still a huge problem for the American 
people. RealityTrac, one of the entities that keeps records on 
foreclosures and has been a leading source for this information, tells 
us that the numbers of U.S. residential properties receiving at least 
one foreclosure filing jumped 21 percent in 2009 to a record of 2.82 
million housing units.
  Foreclosure activity has increased sharply in March of 2010. The 
number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process rose from the 
previous quarter.
  Given the significant Federal response to the foreclosure crisis, it 
is disheartening--I think that is an understatement--that foreclosure 
filings in March of 2010 were up nearly 8 percent from March of 2009, 
the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began reporting the numbers 
in January of 2005. So we have a ways to go on this very difficult 
challenge that our Nation has faced.
  I commend the administration for using the so-called TARP funds, the 
Trouble Asset Relief Program funds, for initiatives to help homeowners, 
which I think indicates that the Federal Government is concerned about 
assisting those who have lost their jobs or have seen their home values 
plummet as a result of Wall Street recklessness.
  You could add a few more words to ``recklessness,'' but in the 
interest of time, I will not.
  Despite the actions of the Congress over the last several years, 
despite the actions of the prior administration and this administration 
especially, despite all that effort, according to the Congressional 
Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, as of February of 
2010, 6 million borrowers were more than 60 days delinquent on 
mortgages and only 168,708 homeowners had received final 5-year loan 
modifications.
  We have a long way to go and we have to implement, in my judgment, 
new and different and more effective strategies to deal with 
foreclosures. More must be done to stem this tide of foreclosures that 
has resulted not only from widespread subprime mortgages but also from 
increasing unemployment, which has devastated communities and 
neighborhoods across America.
  This amendment--which I thank both colleagues from New York, Senators 
Gillibrand and Schumer, for cosponsoring--would also use TARP dollars 
to help unemployed homeowners. It is very simple: $3 billion would go 
into a HUD fund to establish a temporary emergency funding relief 
program based on a very successful program run in Pennsylvania since 
1983. It has helped tens of thousands of homeowners in Pennsylvania.
  This may be the most successful mortgage foreclosure relief program 
in the country, at least that I am aware of. Some may want to debate 
that. But I think in Pennsylvania we have a good track record. We need 
something akin to that, something very similar to that on a national 
scale.
  This program and this idea are designed to respond to high 
unemployment situations where homeowners are temporarily unable to 
afford their monthly mortgage payment due to at least three conditions: 
unemployment, of course; underemployment is another situation; thirdly, 
a medical condition could also prevent someone from making their 
mortgage payment every month.
  Subprime mortgage loans and predatory lending sparked a wave of 
foreclosures, as many borrowers defaulted on loans that they were sold 
using predatory practices, that they could never afford in the first 
place to make the payments for. Now the country finds itself in the 
midst of a second wave--a second wave of foreclosures, where prime 
borrowers struggle to make their monthly payments after a job loss or 
unsuccessful attempts at refinancing or modifications.
  Despite all of the work that has been done here over the last couple 
of years, despite all of the work done by the administration, we still 
find borrowers, homeowners, who, because of a job loss or another 
adverse circumstance, cannot make their monthly payments. We need 
direct help for them. We do not need something around the margins; we 
need direct help for them.

[[Page S3819]]

  The amendment provides for loans to homeowners only after determining 
the borrower has a reasonable prospect of being able to resume making 
full mortgage payments, and we will consider their ability to repay in 
establishing loan terms, conditions, or rates.
  In addition to the individual homeowner problem--someone who has lost 
their job or has some circumstance that prevents them from making their 
payments--in addition to the individual, we have full neighborhoods 
across the country that continue to suffer from housing price declines, 
lost property tax revenues, abandoned properties, and, of course, 
blight. This amendment would also direct $1 billion of TARP funds to 
the Neighborhood Stabilization Program created by the Housing and 
Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to provide grants to State and local 
governments and eligible entities to purchase and redevelop foreclosed 
and abandoned properties with the goal of stabilizing communities. So 
this is a neighborhood problem in addition to being a problem with 
individual homeowners.
  The language from this amendment was included in H.R. 4173, the Wall 
Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 which passed the 
House of Representatives late last year.
  In conclusion, I wish to reemphasize the need for this type of an 
amendment because we still, unfortunately, have not tackled the 
foreclosure problem in America. In fact, it is a foreclosure crisis 
which will prevent us from having an economy that is in full recovery. 
We did the right thing by making sure the TARP dollars were able to 
sustain what happened in the strategy to help our financial companies 
around the United States of America, especially those that were in real 
trouble in 2008 and 2009. We did the right thing on the recovery bill. 
We did the right thing on the HIRE Act a couple of months ago. We have 
taken a lot of steps to rescue and stabilize our economy. We are 
growing now. We have some growth. We have some employment growth. But 
unless we tackle completely the foreclosure problem with a very direct, 
focused effort, we are not going to fully recover and we are not going 
to have the kind of economic growth we should.
  So I would urge my colleagues to join Senator Schumer, Senator 
Gillibrand, me, and others in voting for and seeking the passage of 
this amendment, No. 3791, the homeowners relief and neighborhood 
stabilization amendment.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 4050

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays on the Cardin-
Lugar amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that after a period 
of morning business on Tuesday, May 18, the Senate resume consideration 
of S. 3217, and there be 30 minutes for debate with respect to the 
Gregg amendment No. 4051 prior to a vote, with the time equally divided 
and controlled between Senators Dodd and Gregg or their designees; that 
upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate proceed to vote in 
relation to the amendment, with no amendment in order to the amendment 
prior to the vote; that the Gregg amendment be subject to an 
affirmative 60-vote threshold, and if the amendment achieves that 
threshold, then it be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be laid 
upon the table; that if it does not achieve that threshold, then it be 
withdrawn.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment 
by Senator Corker of Tennessee on preemption be in order, and that the 
side-by-side amendment offered by Senator Carper be in order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________