Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) plan to file an amendment they say will end banks that become "too big to fail" and prevent future bailouts.

The language, titled the SAFE Banking Act, would limit the size of big financial firms and would ensure that banks have adequate resources to cover losses they incur.


"We can either limit the size and leverage of  'too big to fail' financial institutions now, or we will suffer the economic consequences of their potential failure later," Kaufman said in a joint statement.

Brown added "This bill would not only prevent bailouts and protect against economic collapse, it will help boost lending to small businesses."

The Ohio senator, who sits on the banking committee, said they would likely offer the language as an amendment to the larger bill between now and next week.

The measure caps the share of one bank's holding company's share of U.S. insured deposits at 10 percent and limits the percentage of non-deposit liabilities and leverage limits at all financial institutions.

The language takes on one of the main charges the GOP has lobbed at the bill is that it would allow for future bailouts of large financial firms, primarily through a $50 billion, industry-funded account. 

Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has said his bill would end bank bailouts and "too big to fail" firms, but Democrats said this was an amendment to reinforce and expand upon provisions regarding the resolution of financial institutions that could fail in the future. 

But Brown and Kaufman, who have vocally criticized Wall Street firms, said that the effort is not a response to Republican complaints, but are part of a long-standing effort to ensure that large financial firms do not believe they will receive government assistance again.

"Absolutely not, this is something we have been working on for some time," Brown said on a conference call with reporters when asked if it was a response to Republicans, calling their claims a "smokecscreen."

At the same time, Brown invited Republicans to support the measure, but would not predict if they would.

"We'd love to see some real bipartisanship on this issue," he said.

A Republican aide responded, saying the amendment undermines Dodd's own statements about the bill.

"This undermines Dodd’s contention about his own bill, and from members of his own party, no less," the aide said. "It really raises serious questions about their view of the capabilities of Dodd’s proposal."