Now that the Senate has passed its version of financial regulatory reform and we head to a conference committee, I am working to ensure that Congress passes legislation that provides the strongest protection for families and prevents the abuses that led to the economic meltdown. A breakdown of the differences between the House and Senate versions can be viewed here.
Each version contains initiatives that should be in the final version. I strongly prefer the House version of an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency, not housed in the Federal Reserve, which would have the increased independence to both write and enforce regulations to truly protect American families from the types of abhorrent abuses --steering families into mortgages they could not afford to repay, offering only subprime loans to some who qualified for prime loans, using unfair and deceptive practices to exacerbate nearly $1 trillion in nationwide credit card debt -- that helped cause the financial crisis.
In the Senate version of the legislation, unlike the House bill, important consumer protection provisions include the requirement that banks move all of their derivatives trading into subsidiaries. In addition, the Senate bill would prohibit bank holding companies with commercial bank operations from engaging in speculative trading with their own accounts. These provisions would protect consumers by stabilizing the financial services industry.
Honoring our Veterans
On Memorial Day, we pause to honor and memorialize those who have been killed defending America. It is a time when we recognize those who serve and have served. In 2000, Congress created the Veterans History Project as one way to honor American war veterans by preserving stories of their service to our nation. The Project relies on family members and volunteers throughout the nation to collect veterans' stories. The stories -- from Veterans serving in World War I up to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- are available to researchers and the public at the Library of Congress in Washington and online.
Click here to learn more about the Veterans History Project and to learn how you can participate. Veterans who want to share their story can call me at 1-87-RUSH-HOLT. Please ask for my aide, Matt Hall.
Questions and Answers about Medicare and Health Reform
As I've previously written, not only does Medicare remain intact under health reform, it is strengthened. Reform improves Medicare by providing free preventive care, lowering drug costs, extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by nine years, and cutting down further on insurance fraud and abuse. The first benefit that many people with Medicare will receive as part of reform is a one-time $250 check if they fall into the Part D "donut hole" coverage gap.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the improvements to Medicare. You can also visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get answers to your questions.
Additionally, this week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent to beneficiaries across the country copies of a brochure "Medicare and the New Health Law -- What it Means for You." The mailing outlines key provisions of the Affordable Care Act for people with Medicare as well as members of their families.
Member of Congress
P.S. Just a reminder: I always want to hear from you, but please don't reply to this e-mail. Instead, please email me through my website at http://holt.house.gov, or call me at 1-87-RUSH-HOLT (1-877-874-4658) to let me know what's on your mind. Please also note that you may unsubscribe from this list by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email.