CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Himes, Bean, and New Dem Coalition Release Guidelines for Financial Regulatory Reform

February 26, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON – With an eye on preventing future shocks to the American economy and improving the nation’s ability to compete on a global stage, Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) and Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL), co-chairs of the New Democrat Coalition Financial Services Task Force, along with their colleagues, detailed the Coalition’s plan for regulatory reform of the financial services industry.

“We need a vibrant, innovative, and American financial services sector lending to our families and businesses, but we need to assure that taxpayers never again shoulder the burden of a private company’s risk,” said Congressman Himes. “Those who take risk should gain the benefit and bear the losses of their decisions.”

President Obama has said that new “rules of the road” for our financial system are critical to preventing another steep recession like the one Americans are experiencing now. The pro-growth New Democrat Coalition, a group of 67 centrist House Democrats, has been working closely with the Obama Administration and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank to determine a broad framework for reform to our outdated regulatory system to ensure efficient and effective regulatory oversight, enhance market stability and transparency, and provide for robust consumer and investor protection.

“After directing $700 billion to shore up our credit markets because Wall Street made bad bets, it’s clear that the referees who regulate our financial system were pulled off the field,” Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (CA-10), the chair of the New Democrat Coalition, said. “We need to come up with a plan to put into place sensible, new regulations that are modern, adaptable and don’t hinder commerce.”

The New Dems released their 21 principles for regulatory reform at a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday. The New Dem Financial Services Task Force, co-chaired by Reps. Melissa Bean (IL-08) and Jim Himes (CT-04), crafted the principles, which will guide New Dem strategy on crafting legislation for the coming year.

“Regulatory reform may not be glamorous, but it is vitally important to creating a functional, sustainable financial system that families and businesses can count on,” Rep. Bean said. “We must avoid future breakdowns that jeopardize the value of our pensions, our homes, our businesses and our national economy.”

As a caucus dedicated to restoring economic growth and improving America’s ability to compete in a global economy, the New Dems know the value of a smoothly functioning financial system to our small businesses and economy. With 16 members on the Financial Services Committee and many Members with private sector financial experience, the coalition has the expertise and the will to help Chairman Frank and the Administration guide a regulatory reform agenda through Congress.