That time Bernie Sanders voted for Bill Clinton's plan to loosen regulation on Wall Street

NBC Democratic presidential debate in 90 seconds
NBC Democratic presidential debate in 90 seconds


    NBC Democratic presidential debate in 90 seconds


NBC Democratic presidential debate in 90 seconds 01:30

Story highlights

  • Clinton hits Sanders for voting to loosen a Wall Street regulation in 2000
  • She didn't mention the legislation was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton

(CNN)Hillary Clinton on Sunday night sought to plant seeds of doubt in voters' minds over Bernie Sanders' repeated pledges to crack down on Wall Street.

To do it, Clinton had to go back more than 15 years, and shine a light on a decision that her husband, by his own admission, would come to regret.
"You're the only one on this stage that voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000," Clinton said, making reference to his support for former President Bill Clinton's Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
    The law effectively gave bankers, or "sophisticated traders," free rein from pre-existing oversight mechanisms when they wanted to make deals on the sidelines of the major stock exchanges, in "over-the-counter" trading.
    Clinton himself would later cop to having made a serious mistake in signing the bill, saying he didn't understand the extent to which these deals, if they went bad, could ripple across the global economy.
    "Even if less than 1% of the total investment community in derivative exchanges, so much money was involved that if they went bad, they could effect 100% of the investments," he told ABC's "This Week" in 2010.
    When CNN's Dan Merica noted on Twitter that Clinton had used her husband's own law as cudgel against her rival, a spokesman for her campaign, Brian Fallon, suggested Sanders was hiding from his role.
    "He said he regrets signing it," Fallon tweeted of Clinton. "Sanders won't even admit voting for it."
    Sanders has not explained his rationale for the 2000 vote, but only four House members lined up against the bill even as a standalone -- and he was not among them.