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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - May 6, 2010 - In Summary, The Dodd Bill Sucks Less Today!

The Senate resumed consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. Votes on amendments are expected throughout the day. This morning, the Senate voted 98-0 to adopt an amendment from Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Tester (D-MT) that requires large banks to pay more into the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund. Yesterday, the Senate voted 93-5 to adopt the Dodd-Shelby compromise amendment to remove the $50 billion bailout fund from the bill and ensure that taxpayers won’t be on the hook for failed banks and investment firms. They also voted 96-1 to approve an amendment from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), which declares that taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for paying for new bailouts.  The voters in California must be tweaking Boxer's lately.  Note, the words "taxpayers shouldn't be responsible" doesn't mean that taxpayers don't pay.  Folks those without money aren't paying the bills.

The Washington Post reports today, “In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the financial regulatory bill aimed at ensuring that taxpayers never again be on the hook for bailing out collapsed banks and investment firms. The 93 to 5 vote brought together senators as diverse as ultra-liberal Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), the conservative who co-wrote the amendment with Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate banking committee. . . . Their deal . . . centered on a portion of the bill aimed at giving the government power to wind down large, troubled firms without putting taxpayer money at risk. The heart of the agreement was Dodd’s willingness to drop a proposed $50 billion fund, which would be filled upfront by the financial industry, that would cover the cost of closing down failing firms. Republicans had criticized the provision as a ‘bailout fund’ that could encourage financial firms to act recklessly, knowing the fund was in place.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell noted, “While some said the Dodd bill did not allow for bailouts, this bipartisan agreement improves the bill by limiting loopholes and seeks to make sure investors, not taxpayers, are on the hook when a Wall Street bank fails.  Thanks to the efforts of the entire Republican Conference over the previous weeks, Sens. Dodd and Shelby had the time to address the concerns raised by members on both sides about flaws in this section of the bill.”

Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the Dodd-Shelby amendment yesterday, yet Democrat leaders had just spent weeks attacking Republicans for explaining that the original version of the Dodd financial regulation bill could perpetuate bailouts. In his weekly address, President Obama said that Sen. McConnell “made the cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts – when he knows that it would do just the opposite.” He later declared that it’s “not legitimate” “to suggest that somehow the legislation being proposed is going to encourage future taxpayer bailouts.”

Meanwhile, Senate Democrat leaders held press conferences to denounce Republican criticism of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “There is no question in my mind that the statements we’ve just seen here are untrue.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) went even further, proclaiming, “These lies are not taking hold.” And Dodd said on the Senate floor that to “suggest that somehow what we have done here is to perpetuate ‘too big to fail’ is poppycock.”

But today, after Reid, Schumer and Dodd all voted for the amendment eliminating taxpayer liability for bailouts, Dodd said, “We’ve resolved, I believe, to virtually all of our satisfaction the too big to fail argument. We did that yesterday and I again thank my colleagues, particularly Senator Shelby and others, for helping us work through that to come to a conclusion that ends the debate as to whether or not the bill before us ends too big to fail.”

Indeed, the Dodd-Shelby amendment seems to have done that. But had it not been for Republicans, not only would there not have been a debate, the language would never have been fixed. Once again, Republicans have been proven right for their concerns about hastily drafted Democrat legislation. Unlike on the health care bill, Democrats were willing to join with Republicans to fix a major problem with the Dodd bill. They should do the same with the serious problems in the consumer protection agency provisions that remain in the bill that could harm small businesses.

Following my prior days rating system, we might agree that the Dodd Bill sucks less today! As previously identified, there are lots of special interest loopholes in this in Wall Street bailout bill.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US Congress, Dodd Bill, financial regulation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:16 AM - Post Link


Anonymous John Eck said...

This bill allows the government to monitor every financial transaction that anyone makes not just banks, brokers, etc even private citizens. They have complete access to your bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, retirement accounts, everything! Nothing to stop them from withdrawing all of your money and they don't need a reason.


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