The U.S. House Wednesday approved legislation from Rep. Randy Hultgren that would allow banks to offer certain financial tools that reforms following the 2008 financial crisis sought to strip from them.
Hultgren argues the particular investment instruments shouldn't have been included in sweeping reforms that followed bank bailouts because local businesses can use them to manage risk. Plus, he says, the so-called swaps he's targeting aren't the complex ones that caused the housing bust.
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"When times get tough for farmers and manufacturers -- when oil prices spike or corn prices plummet -- they rely on financial products like swaps to weather the uncertainty," Hultgren, a Winfield Republican, said in a statement.
The House voted 292-122 to approve the legislation, which was Hultgren's first bill to make it to the U.S. Senate.
From the suburbs, Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton voted for it, as did Democratic U.S. Reps. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, Brad Schneider of Deerfield, Bill Foster of Naperville and Mike Quigley of Chicago. Democratic U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston voted against it.
Local business leaders supported the move.
"It achieves a common sense balance of allowing banks to service their customers' needs while protecting bank safety and soundness," Illinois Chamber of Commerce Vice President Todd Maisch wrote in a letter to Hultgren.