Andrew Romanoff, Michael Bennet Butt Heads Over Wall Street Reform [UPDATE]

07/16/2010 11:26 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UPDATE: A spokesman from the Romanoff campaign denies reports that the candidate would have voted against the reform.

Colorado Public Radio issued the following clarification Friday:

Yesterday (Thursday) Colorado Public Radio news reported that Democratic Senator Michael Bennet voted to approve the financial reform package passed by the US Senate. Bennet is a candidate in the state's August primary, and we mistakenly reported that his democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff would have voted against the bill. Romanoff clarified his position today (Friday)saying that while there's more to be done on financial reform, he would have supported the legislation.

* * * * * * * * * * *

A key policy distinction was drawn this week in a Democratic Senate primary that many have argued has been driven largely by personality--rather than policy--differences.

Colorado Public Radio reported Thursday (in a report embedded below) that challenger Andrew Romanoff says he would have voted against the financial reform bill passed by the Senate this week because it doesn't go far enough. Were Romanoff, the former Speaker of the Colorado State House, representing Colorado in the Senate, his 'No' vote would have made him one of just two Democrats to oppose the legislation, and would have prevented the bill's passage.

Incumbent Michael Bennet has hailed the legislation as "[a] tough Wall Street reform bill that will make sure that taxpayers are never again left paying the price for Wall Street's greed and risky behavior."

The bill, which had been in the works since 2009, will give regulators the authority to break up big banks that are deemed a threat to the financial system. It also authorizes a sweeping audit of the Federal Reserve, creates an independent consumer protection entity and largely prevents banks from trading taxpayer money for their own profit.

The bill also specifically prohibits the use of taxpayer bailouts to prop up "to-big-to-fail" financial institutions.

The New York Times editorial board has called the bill "a considerable accomplishment," lauding its "intent and power to rectify lending abuses," as well as the legislation's ability to "institutionalize the insight that the safety and soundness of banks cannot -- and should not -- be measured by profitability alone."

Still, many on the left of the Democratic party have criticized the bill for not doing enough to reign in Wall Street.

Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware supported for the bill, but expressed reservations that it did too little to end the practice of "too big to fail," and did not set specific guidelines for regulators.

Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against the bill, called it "a deal cut between Washington and New York" that "doesn't do the job."

Romanoff, like Feingold, has called for a separation of regular banking from investment banking.

Romanoff told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Thursday that the bill was "was the best we could expect from the Congress that we have. That's not good enough."

Bennet, also critical of the process by which the bill was passed, explained his support in an email to supporters by saying in "protects consumers, cracks down on big bank abuses, improves accountability and transparency, and ends taxpayer-funded bailouts."


Suggest a correction