GOP Rep. Issa: 1999 banking deregulation bill went 'too far'

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that many of his current colleagues erred when they voted to repeal the 1932 act that mandated, among other things, the separation of commercial and investment banking.

"There's no question that, in 1999, when they 'deregulated' by getting rid of Glass-Steagall — something that was done with a Republican Congress and a Democratic president — I think we really went too far in saying there are banks and there are non-banks and they can own each other," Issa said Monday during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" on the Fox Business Network.

A Republican-controlled House, with strong Democratic support, voted in late 1999 to repeal Glass-Steagall, while the Senate voted 54-44, with only one Democratic vote in favor, to support the repeal.

The 2008 financial crisis left some experts arguing that repealing Glass-Steagall had contributed, at least in part, to the nation's current financial difficulties. Some Democratic lawmakers have voiced support for reinstating the law.

Issa did not explicitly say whether he favors reinstating Glass-Steagall, though few Republican lawmakers have criticized the 1999 vote, which took place before Issa was elected to the House.

"It's very clear that banks are banks, investment banks are not banks and insurance companies are not banks," said Issa, who is a critic of the Wall Street reform legislation currently before Congress.

"And getting to a clear understanding of who regulates each of these and who watches them, whether they're public or private, is something we need to do, and something we need to do on a bipartisan basis."