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Washington, D.C.– Legislation supported by Idaho Senator Jim Risch was added today to S. 378, the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act of 2009. The amendment calls for the creation of an independent commission to investigate the near collapse of the banking system and is nearly identical to S. 298, a bill Risch co-sponsored earlier this year. The Financial Markets Commission amendment passed on a 92 - 4 vote.

The 10-member commission is charged with investigating potential wrongdoing in the financial markets and to recommend reforms to the system. The commission also has the authority to refer evidence of criminal wrongdoing to the U.S. Attorney General and to a State Attorney General if necessary.

“If evidence is found that shows individuals or institutions were criminally negligent and caused or prolonged the near downfall of our system, they need to be held responsible for their actions.  Restitution and time in prison is a good start for those that are identified and convicted,” Risch said. “Many hardworking Americans lost everything and all taxpayers will be paying for this for a long time to come. We must fix the system and ensure that it does not happen again.”

The commission is directed to submit a report to the President and to Congress on their findings on the causes of the financial and economic crisis by December 15, 2010.