Senate Votes to Establish Financial Crisis Commission

Washington loves investigative commissions and the Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the creation of another one: The Financial Markets Commission.

Lawmakers voted 94-3 to create the commission that will be charged with investigating the causes, domestic and global, of the financial and economic crisis.

Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., introduced the measure earlier this year, and it is now attached as an amendment to a larger anti-fraud measure which makes it easier for the Justice Department to prosecute white collar crimes.

The 10-member, bipartisan financial commission is to be modeled on one that was established to investigate the causes of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The financial commission, like the 9/11 Commission, would make recommendations on how to avoid a future crisis.

The panel would have 18 months to investigate, with the authority to refer to the attorney general and state attorneys general for any evidence of crimes turned up in the midst of their review.

This bipartisan commission would be composed of two appointees each from the House speaker and Senate majority leader, and one each from the House minority leader, Senate minority leader, chairman of the Senate banking committee, ranking member of the Senate banking committee, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.