Arcuri calls Wall Street reform "historic", Hanna calls it "crippling"


(WKTV) - The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is now law, signed by President Obama on Thursday. Congressman Michael Arcuri voted for it and was back in Utica on Friday. He says the bill contains the biggest changes to the financial industry since the Great Depression.

Arcuri talked about the bill on Friday in Utica at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mohawk Valley on Genesee Street. That's because so many Central New Yorkers have suffered these past two years with the collapse of the big banks. Many have lost their jobs, got into huge credit card debt problems and in some cases, lost their homes.

Arcuri says the bill is huge, it includes many things, including requiring full and clear disclosure on loan applications, as well as other measures to prevent predatory lending. The bill also limits what kinds of bonuses bank executives can get, and gives shareholders a say in how much the executives can actually earn.

Democrats, including Arcuri say the new laws mean the end of bailing out institutions that are so-called "too big to fail".

"If an institution is so big, that it has a profound effect on the economy, than the government cannot let it fail, that the government has to do whatever it can do to make sure that company stays and continues to work," Arcuri said.

Arcuri says everything in the bill is geared towards making the big banks, not so big, so they can never turn our country upside down again.

"Create more incentives for smaller institutions to thrive so that we don't have this feeling that everyone wants to keep getting bigger and bigger and we don't have five banks that do all of the business," Arcuri said.

Arcuri's opponent, Republican Richard Hanna, released his own statement regarding the bill.

"I support many of the consumer protection provisions of this bill, however it is the unintended consequence of a 2,300 page bill like this that should concern all of us," Hanna said. "The smooth flow of capital is critical to a successful economy. I'm for reform, transparency and fair play, but this bill will cripple many U.S. companies, raise interest rates, kill jobs and make permanent the bailout in Washington. This bill weakens the economy and expands government power. Taxpayers will be on the hook for government spending in the event of another financial crisis. It is particularly onerous for New Yorkers who rely so heavily on the banking industry for revenue."

Many New York Republicans have said because Wall Street is in New York State, and C.E.O's will no longer make the same money, the state will bring in less tax revenue. Arcuri doesn't think the salary and bonus reductions will hurt New York's tax base too much.

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