Senator Dodd's Sense of Urgency Long Overdue
by Charles Lemos, Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 08:47:26 PM EST
The New York Times reports that Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, will unveil his own financial sector regulatory reform proposal on Monday after being unable to reach on a compromise measure with the GOP members on the committee.
The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, hoping to break a months-long logjam on the biggest overhaul of financial regulations since the Depression, will unveil his own proposal on Monday, without yet having a single Republican endorsement.
The chairman, Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, said on Thursday that the committee would take up the bill on March 22.
The breakdown in bipartisan talks dimmed hopes for a sweeping rewrite of Wall Street’s rules, nearly two years after the collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns started a financial crisis that has cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
Mr. Dodd suggested that he was acting out of a sense of urgency. The House adopted a regulatory overhaul — a priority of the Obama administration — in December on a largely party-line vote. But bipartisan negotiations in the Senate have repeatedly faltered over several critical points, notably the creation of a consumer financial protection agency to regulate mortgages, credit cards and other products.
While it's worth waiting to see what Senator Dodd's proposals actually are and if they include a stand alone independent Consumer Finance Protection Agency and a reigning in of esoteric derivative instruments, it is a relief to hear that Senator Dodd now has a "sense of urgency." It has long been clear that the Republicans are not interested in governing. With their interminable delays, they have sought, and frankly largely succeeded, in derailing the agenda of the Obama Administration. While it may not be too late to actually achieved wide-ranging reforms, that window of opportunity is now measured in just months. The hour of getting down to business is now.