Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., issued the following statement today on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's letter requesting that the U.S. Trade Representative review the Volcker Rule provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Levin and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., authored the Volcker Rule provisions of Dodd-Frank.
"It is not surprising that the U.S. Chamber, which opposed our efforts to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis that crippled our economy, is now trying to undermine those efforts. The Chamber's letter places the interests of foreign governments ahead of protecting U.S. taxpayers and workers who had to bail out big banks' bad bets just a few years ago. This last-ditch effort by the big banks and the Chamber to undermine the Merkley-Levin provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act ignores the fact that U.S. trade agreements allow us to regulate the safety and soundness of our financial institutions.
"The principle behind the Merkley-Levin provision implementing the Volcker Rule is simple: If you're going to place risky bets for your own profit, you can't do it with the backing of government-insured deposits. That's just common sense, and the big banks and their allies should stop their foot-dragging and obfuscation. The time for delay is over; now it's time for a strong Volcker Rule and vigorous enforcement."