Sen. Warner sees 'disaster' if financial overhaul plans fail

It would be a "travesty" if the Senate failed to pass financial regulation reform, one of the senators helping to lead that effort said this weekend.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a former venture capitalist, denied that the effort to overhaul financial regulations has lost momentum, asserting that the Senate was likely to pass a bill sometime this fall.

"If that happened, I think it'd be a travesty," Warner said in an interview on Bloomberg Television when asked about the prospects of the bill's failure. "If we didn't learn the lessons of one of the worst financial meltdowns in all of our lifetimes, and didn't put new rules of the road in place, I think it'd be a disaster, it'd be irresponsible."

"I don't share that view, that steam has run out," Warner added, signaling that a financial regulation bill would enter mark-up this fall, and probably make its way out of the Senate by the end of the year.

The Obama administration has backed the regulatory overhaul as a centerpiece of its economic recovery agenda, though Congress has worked to tweak some of the new rules called for in the package the White House introduced.

Among the likely products of the bill, Warner said, would be a so-called "council" of regulators for financial services firms. The council, comprised of the heads of the major regulatory agencies currently in place, has been endorsed by several key figures, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanle.

"I think there is a real bipartisan sense that the council approach will be the right way," Warner said.

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