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Merkley, Levin: Finish Stronger, Simpler Volcker Rule Without Delay

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Carl Levin (D-MI) called on regulators to end the delay in issuing a final version of the Volcker Rule. In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other regulators, the Senators expressed frustration that months after the deadline has past, staff-level differences may be obstructing progress on removing the loopholes from earlier proposals and finalizing the rule.

"As with any rulemaking, different agencies may have their own perspectives on various provisions," the Senators wrote. "While we are cautiously pleased to see reports that a consensus is emerging, we are concerned that some ongoing staff-level differences may be obstructing progress. The time for resolving those differences is long overdue. We urge you to move quickly, make the final adjustments needed to simplify and strengthen the October 2011 proposal, and bring the process to a conclusion."

The Senators also noted in the letter that we should not wait to implement the protections American families and businesses should be enjoying due to lack of unanimous agreement.

"If, because of differing agency procedures or timelines, not all of you can finalize the rule simultaneously, so be it. The statute was constructed with that possibility in mind. We are confident that if the majority of you act, any remaining agency or agencies will soon follow suit. "

Senators Merkley and Levin were the lead authors of the Merkley-Levin provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, otherwise known as the Volcker Rule. The Volcker Rule is a firewall between traditional banking and hedge-fund style trading. The final rule was due two years after the law was passed, on July 21, 2012.

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