As the Senate today continues debate on Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) credit card reform proposal, Dodd’s 2010 GOP opponent, former Connecticut Rep. Rob Simmons, just issued a statement asking the Banking Committee chairman a biting question: What took you so long?
Credit card reform is long overdue and if Sen. Dodd wasn’t so busy collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from big banks, credit card companies, the pay day loan industry and pawn shops we might have had reform years ago. This bill is a belated improvement on the current system, but has more to do with covering Sen. Dodd’s extremely exposed hind end than with protecting consumers.
Simmons isn’t far off here, on several fronts. Dodd has taken millions of dollars from the banks and other credit card issuers in his 34-year tenure in Washington; he’s struggling in the polls; and although he sponsored a credit card reform bill last year, he declined to hold hearings on it despite being head of the powerful Banking Committee. (House Democrats, by contrast, held a string of hearings before passing a similar bill last September.) Democratic leaders, by pushing Dodd’s bill so prominently, clearly hope to improve his public image as a way to help him keep his seat.
What’s inane about Simmon’s statement is the implication that Republicans somehow have a greater appetite for finance reforms than Dodd does – as if Congress under former Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) or former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) — (not to mention a White House under President George W. Bush — ever took seriously the concept of protecting consumers from the traps and schemes often used by credit card companies. Instead, it’s Republican senators who watered down Dodd’s bill in recent weeks, and it’s Republican senators who are right now threatening to kill the proposal, in order to protect the banks.
Simmons knows all of this. Indeed, he was a member of Congress for six years between 2001 and 2007, when the GOP was in the majority — just enough time to rack up nearly $119,000 in donations from the same finance industry he’s accusing Dodd of coddling, according to the campaign finance watchdog, Center for Responsive Politics.
Then again, if hypocrisy were a crime, the Capitol would be empty.
Giffords shooting leads nation to introspection and political finger wagging
In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this weekend that critically injured Rep.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’
All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some