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Senate adopts amendment to protect taxpayers, hold Wall Street accountable

Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that the Senate has adopted an amendment to the Wall Street reform legislation that would ensure that no taxpayer funds will be used to bail out financial institutions. The amendment, which Shaheen cosponsored, would hold Wall Street accountable for their reckless behavior and protect taxpayers.  Last year, Shaheen was one of nine Democrats to vote against releasing $350 billion in additional bailout dollars because she didn't feel there was enough transparency and accountability for the American people regarding how their hard-earned tax dollars were being spent.    

"Americans entrusted their savings, retirements, and homes to Wall Street bankers, who in turn wagered these hard-earned assets to increase their own profits and lost," said Shaheen. "I was against asking American taxpayers to bail out these Wall Street firms in the first place, and this amendment will help make sure that the American people are never asked to do so again.  As we continue to work on Wall Street reform legislation, we must protect taxpayers and hold financial institutions accountable for their actions."

Specifically, the amendment would require that funds used to liquidate any failing financial institution would come from selling the firm's assets or through assessments on the financial sector, as is the case currently when the FDIC closes a failing bank.  This amendment is now part of the larger Wall Street reform legislation currently before the Senate for consideration.  A vote on the final bill, as amended, is expected in the coming weeks.

The cost of the financial collapse caused by reckless Wall Street behavior has affected middle class families and small businesses across New Hampshire and the country.  Almost 34,000 private sector jobs were lost in New Hampshire alone, and millions of hard working Americans across the country lost their jobs in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Thousands of New Hampshire families have seen the equity in their homes vanish.  The average home value in New Hampshire has declined over 15 percent, and New Hampshire families are losing their homes in record numbers.