It is not like we did not see it coming. We all knew that Barney’s 1,279 page POS was going to pass. Now is the time to make sure that any semblance of this bill does not pass in the Senate with it’s additional layers of government, arbitrary decision making about companies’ health, and a seat at the table for community organizers like ACORN.
This bill is another 180 degree swinging pendulum away from logic or reality. I am all for regulation and reform of the financial industry, but putting financial institutions in a straight jacket AND allowing community organizations who know nothing about creating small businesses, jobs, or wealth, a seat at the table is not going to help this economy.
WASHINGTON — The House has passed a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations that would govern Wall Street and reconfigure the power of the agencies overseeing the nation’s banking system. The vote was 223-202.
The legislation is a priority of President Barack Obama’s. It is designed to address the shortfalls that led to last year’s calamitous financial meltdown.
New powers would give the federal government the right to break up big risky companies. It also would create a consumer agency to police lenders.
Mr. Obama didn’t get everything he wanted. The legislation diluted some of his administration proposals. The legislative activity now moves to the Senate, which is not expected to act on a regulation bill until early next year.
Before the final vote Friday, House members rejected by a vote 223-208 an amendment that would have killed a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The agency would consolidate consumer lending regulations and enforcement that is now split among several banking regulators.
A bipartisan coalition had proposed keeping the consumer powers within each regulator and creating an oversight council. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied heavily to kill the agency and ran national television ads against it. Consumer groups said it was essential to the overall regulatory package.
In a separate vote Friday, Democratic leaders failed to revive legislation that would let bankruptcy judges rewrite mortgages to lower homeowners’ monthly payments. The measure was rejected by a 241-188 . (How did that happen?)
The bill’s principal provisions establish a process for dismantling large, failing financial institutions; set up a council to identify and regulate firms that are so big, interconnected or risky that they need heightened supervision to keep them from bringing down the whole financial system; create a new consumer financial-protection agency to squelch unfair and abusive practices; and for the first time, regulate over-the-counter derivatives markets. The bill also contains provisions on executive pay, investor protection, credit ratings, hedge funds and insurance.
“How many new government agencies are necessary to accomplish this task?” asked Representative Dan Boren, Democrat of Oklahoma.
The argument in the House centered on the Democratic plan that would assess large financial companies a fee to create a $150 billion fund to cover the costs of dissolving companies that pose a threat to the economy. Democrats said the fund would not be used to keep companies afloat but would lead to a more orderly shutdown of businesses.
Republicans, trying to capitalize on public frustration with financial bailouts, said that failing firms should instead go through normal bankruptcy proceedings.
“If bankruptcy is good enough for American citizens, if it is good enough for small businesses, if it is good enough for 99.9 percent of American corporations, it ought to be good for the largest, ‘too-big-to-fail’ institutions,” Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama, senior Republican on the Financial Services Committee, said.