The Senate is preparing for action on its version of the wide-ranging financial legislation that would among other things create a consumer protection watchdog and establish oversight of the derivatives market. A cloture motion has been filed and a vote to limit further debate, which would pave the way for a final vote on the bill, could come as early as Wednesday.
There are still more than 300 proposed amendments to the bill that haven't been discussed, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says as many changes as possible will be considered before any votes this week. Sponsors of several controversial amendments to the bill have agreed to modify their proposals in hopes of gaining enough votes to include the provisions as the bill goes toward final passage later in the week.
The National Farmers Union commended the Senate Ag Committee for approving language in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act that brings strong oversight to financial market reform. NFU President Roger Johnson said farmers, ranchers and rural Americans need assurance that their livelihoods won't be jeopardized by outside interests without a stake in rural America. Johnson says this legislation is a step in helping to ensure rural Americans aren't hampered by the unregulated activities of market speculators and financial institutions.
Johnson stated that the meltdown of the financial and credit markets in 2008 and 2009 made it clear that now is the time for reform. He said high oil prices along with spikes and crashes in corn, soybeans, wheat and dairy combine to make the last three years among the most difficult on record for sectors of the agricultural economy. Johnson says now is the chance to protect the future.