How It Works: Dodd and Lincoln Finance Bills
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is softening his criticism of Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform proposal, which Democrats plan to move to the floor on Monday. At the same time, Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s (D-Ark.) derivatives reform proposal goes into markup this morning at the Senate Agriculture Committee. (Lincoln says she expects it to pass on a party-line vote.) But aren’t these supposed to be the same bill?
Yes. The Dodd bill and the regulatory reform bill that passed the House both contained derivatives language weaker than in Lincoln’s proposal. Dodd’s bill is going forward first, and the Senate bills need to be merged.
When the bills are merged, the language will change, ending up somewhere between the two. The White House reportedly believes that Lincoln’s language is too strong. But Lincoln’s proposal has received strong praise from reformers, and Lincoln says Dodd has assured her that the derivatives proposal won’t be too watered-down. Still, the provision requiring banks to move out their swaps desk looks the most likely to be axed.