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.
I started reading the first draft of the financial regulatory reform legislation back at the end of October when it was 253 pages but it kept changing; first to 379 pages and now 1,279 pages. The latest draft was put out on the house floor a few days ago and guess what, they are voting on it today. Not very many people have been paying attention to the complete takeover of the financial sector by progressive democrats because everybody has been talking about the Senate health care bill. One needs to remember that whoever controls the purse strings, controls the world.
Michele Bachmann has called for Americans to melt the phone lines of their representatives in Washington over this sneaky legislation that gives control of the private sector to the White House. (202-224-3121). This legislation also has the Waters amendment that gives community organizations (like ACORN) a seat at the table. Barney and his cronies will tout this as a great bill because it contains the auditing of the Federal Reserve in it. Go here to watch live streaming coverage of the vote on amendments and this bill.
A very small excerpt concerning an oversight council:
H.R.4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)
SEC. 1001. FINANCIAL SERVICES OVERSIGHT COUNCIL ESTABLISHED.
(a) Establishment- Immediately upon enactment of this title, there is established a Financial Services Oversight Council.
(b) Membership- The Council shall consist of the following:
(1) VOTING MEMBERS- Voting members, who shall each have one vote on the Council, as follows:
(A) The Secretary of the Treasury, who shall serve as the Chairman of the Council.
(B) The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
(C) The Comptroller of the Currency.
(D) The Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, until the functions of the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision are transferred to pursuant to subtitle C.
(E) The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
(F) The Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
(G) The Chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
(H) The Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
(I) The Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration.
(2) NONVOTING MEMBERS- Nonvoting members, who shall serve in an advisory capacity:
(A) A State insurance commissioner, to be designated by a selection process determined by the State insurance commissioners, provided that the term for which a State insurance commissioner may serve shall last no more than the 2-year period beginning on the date that the commissioner is selected.
(B) A State banking supervisor, to be designated by a selection process determined by the State bank supervisors, provided that the term for which a State banking supervisor may serve shall last no more than the 2-year period beginning on the date that the supervisor is selected.
(c) Duties- The Council shall have the following duties:
(1) To advise the Congress on financial domestic and international regulatory developments, including insurance and accounting developments, and make recommendations that will enhance the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, competitiveness, and stability of the United States financial markets.
(2) To monitor the financial services marketplace to identify potential threats to the stability of the United States financial system.
(3) To identify potential threats to the stability of the United States financial system that do not arise out of the financial services marketplace.
(4) To develop plans (and conduct exercises in furtherance of those plans) to prepare for potential threats identified under paragraphs (2) and (3).
(5) To subject financial companies and financial activities to stricter prudential standards in order to promote financial stability and mitigate systemic risk in accordance with subtitle B.