Cantwell Statement on Vote Against Omnibus Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement after voting against the omnibus government spending bill. The Senate approved the legislation by a 56-40 margin.

“I strongly oppose the derivatives provision of this bill, which would overturn a critical component of our work on the 2010 Wall Street Reform legislation,” Cantwell said. “I am also opposed to the changes that would weaken protections for current retirees who depend on multi-employer pension plans.”

Cantwell’s vote was in opposition to language in the omnibus bill that repeals Section 716 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, known as the “swaps pushout rule.” Cantwell was a key proponent of Section 716, which ensures that taxpayers aren’t on the hook for financial institutions that trade in complex derivatives.

In 2010, Cantwell played a leading role with Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) to ensure Section 716 was included in the Dodd-Frank legislation. The rule prohibits financial institutions that trade in derivatives from being covered through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the Federal Reserve in case of failure. Cantwell fought to include provisions in the financial reform legislation that required over-the-counter derivatives to be traded on exchanges to promote transparency and ensure they are protected against losses.

 Cantwell has long fought to protect consumers from excessive Wall Street speculation and to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. In July 2013, Cantwell, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and Senator Angus King (I-ME), introduced the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. That legislation would revive financial regulations separating traditional banks with federal-insured savings and checking accounts from riskier financial institutions that offer services such as investment banking, insurance, swaps dealing, and hedge fund and private equity activities.