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Finance Regulatory Bill to Move in Fall

September 1, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

The television and Internet are plastered with health care coverage, but there are other issues bound to move through Congress this fall. One issue that appears to be moving soon is a package of new financial regulations, which include the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (H.R. 3126). House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank has tentatively scheduled a vote in committee for the CFPA Act on September 23.

The decision to move this bill comes two months after Rep. Frank was forced to delay a vote after intense lobbying by the financial sector, which is opposed to the bill, led many Financial Services Committee Democrats to object to a quick vote.

Action on financial regulations in the Senate is likely to hinge on Sen. Chris Dodd’s decision on whether to remain on as Chair of the Banking Committee or replace Sen. Ted Kennedy as Chair of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee (HELP). Were Sen. Dodd to take Kennedy’s gavel at HELP, his likely replacement on the Banking Committee would be Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, a senator far more amenable to the interests of finance and banks. (See Donny’s post here and a post I did at the Sunlight Foundation here. Also, Ryan Grim’s article for the Huffington Post.) Sen. Johnson has not shown the kind of zeal for pursuing financial regulatory reform that Sen. Dodd has this year.

For a fuller explanation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act and other proposed financial regulatory reforms, I would suggest reading this enlightening CRS report on the subject.

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