Dodd (Alone) to Unveil Financial Reform Bill Monday
The head of the Senate Banking Committee, Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, announced this morning that a long-awaited proposal to install sweeping new oversight of the finance industry will be unveiled Monday.
Okay, maybe it’s not so sweeping.
To entice the support of a few Republicans — notably Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the lead negotiator for the GOP — the bill won’t include a separate consumer financial protection agency, which both the White House and countless consumer advocates say is the best strategy for reining in the most abusive practices of the banks and other financial institutions.
On top of that, Corker is reportedly insisting that any consumer protection unit included in the bill not have the power to regulate pawnbrokers, payday lenders and car dealers — among the most abusive branches of the finance industry, according to consumer advocates, who are already blasting the plan as insufficient.
“The point of the agency is to provide a cop on the beat that focuses where the problems are, not a cop that’s fenced off from some of the worst actors,” Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and a longtime champion of a separate, robust consumer protection agency, told The Washington Post.
Still, Dodd says he’s pleased with the compromise on which he’s been focused for most of the year, even while he’s conceding that sticking points remain.
“Our talks will continue,” he said in a statement, “and it is still our hope to come to agreement on a strong bill all of the Senate can be proud to support very soon.”
Dodd said he hopes to hold a hearing to mark up the bill on March 22.