Mr. DeMINT. Madam President, I rise to speak in favor of the Sessions bankruptcy amendment. This is critical to the current financial debate because one of the big issues in whether we treat some companies and some banks differently. The current bankruptcy laws create a predictable rule of law. There is no arbitrary or political decisionmaking. When a company can't pay its bills, it can ask for bankruptcy protection to restructure or liquidate in some kind of controlled fashion. This is what is meant by ``justice is blind.'' Our courts, our legal system and political systems do not get involved with deciding which companies have to be liquidated, go through bankruptcy. During our current financial meltdown, the government decided to pick winners and losers, to bail out some companies, some banks, and not others.
The underlying financial regulation bill makes that system permanent, essentially throwing out the rule of law and allowing the political system, the bureaucratic system to decide which companies need to be treated differently while others have to go through the bankruptcy process. The Sessions amendment would treat all companies the same and allow an orderly restructuring or liquidation of banks, regardless of how big they are.
The underlying bill abandons the rule of law. It suspends free market principles, and it perpetuates the idea that there are some companies that are too big to fail and have to be treated differently. It even expands that arbitrary system by giving the FDIC the ability to pick companies they think might fail and to seize them if they are not meeting certain criteria. The market does not decide which company is failing anymore. This becomes a political system which sets up corruption and political meddling as part of the financial system.
There is no reason we can't have special bankruptcy courts to deal with large banking institutions so their failure does not take down the whole financial system. This idea that some people in Washington are going to look at Wall Street or anywhere in the country and decide which company is too big to fail, has to be treated differently, while this company goes through a traditional bankruptcy process--that puts us right back where we are now, where people in the government can arbitrarily take taxpayer money and bail out one company. Maybe it is their political friends and supporters--or maybe they don't bail out the companies that are their political enemies. It makes no sense to make bold promises to the American people that we are going to end too big to fail when this bill actually makes it permanent.
I encourage my colleagues to consider the Sessions amendment. It would take us back to a rule-of-law that is predictable, that let's every company, every bank know if they can't pay their bills, they have to go through a predetermined system, not one that is decided by bureaucrats at the last minute based on criteria that could change at any moment.
Let's get this one right. The underlying bill will not do what we promise. The Sessions amendment will move us in the right direction to keep our promises to the American people.
I yield the floor.