Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. issued the following statement today after a joint House-Senate conference committee completed its work on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:
"Earlier today, House and Senate conferees reached an historic agreement that will begin to restore financial responsibility to Wall Street. The most essential improvements include: no more bailouts; no more bad loans to individuals or businesses who are unqualified to receive them; banks will pay for their own mistakes - not taxpayers; and the Federal Reserve will come under better control. Over time, confidence and trust in the activities of Wall Street firms will be restored.
"And, while this is a huge step forward to fix what is broken, we must continue to focus on getting help for our small businesses - who represent over 90 percent of all employers, generate over 50 percent of our nation's annual GDP, and create nearly two-thirds of all new jobs.
"I urge the Senate to take quick action on the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010, which includes the Perlmutter-Kagen amendment allowing small banks to amortize potential declines in commercial real estate loans over several years. Access to capital is a top issue confronting small businesses in Northeast Wisconsin, and this bill will free up funds to help privately owned small businesses create the jobs we need to work our way back into prosperity."