Key U.S. senators see deal on regulatory reform

WASHINGTON Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:23pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Democrat and Republican on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee said on Wednesday they hoped to resolve their differences on financial regulatory reforms before the Senate reconvenes in January.

"For the last few weeks we, and other members of the Banking Committee, have been engaged in serious negotiations, with the goal of producing a bill that strengthens our regulatory structure and makes our economy more secure," Senators Christopher Dodd and Richard Shelby said in a joint statement.

"We have made meaningful progress and we hope to resolve the remaining issues before we reconvene in January," they said.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a far-reaching package of financial regulatory reforms on December 11. But progress has been much slower in the Senate, where the banking panel has yet to take up a bill.

Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who chairs the Senate panel, unveiled a set of proposals on November 10, but the plan drew sharp criticism from Republicans. Shelby, a Texas Republican, said the draft bill needed a "complete rewrite."

In particular, Republicans have been critical of Dodd's proposal to set up a new agency to protect consumers of financial products -- a top Obama administration reform goal contained in the House bill.

In their statement on Wednesday, the two senators emphasized common ground, including agreement that consumer protections need to be strengthened. The statement, however, provided no details on how a consensus might be achieved.

Whatever bill the Senate might ultimately approve would need to be reconciled with legislation passed by the House before it could go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

The Senate is on track to adjourn for a holiday break on December 24 and plans to reconvene on January 19.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)

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Comments (3)
jmmx wrote:
The Republicans represent the bankers not the people.

Dec 23, 2009 4:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bigkirb1 wrote:
The majority of politicians who have protected the banks have been democrats.

The Glass Steagall Act that used to protect us from banks going wild was repealed under the Clinton administration.

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Greg, Schumer, Watt, Pelosi, and Obama have fought tooth and nail to defend their banking buddies and the federal reserve.

To be fair there have been Republicans bending over for the big banks, but the majority in the last twelve years.

The head of the big banking snake is the federal reserve.

When the people of this country find out what the federal reserve, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase have been up to it will be an apocalyptic moment in history.

Too many bank owned puppets in government, the media, and law enforcement.

The big banks have too much power and they need to be broken up like Sheila Bair (Republican) of the FDIC has advised.

Dec 23, 2009 7:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
boboberg wrote:
Why should it surprise us that the republicans are refusing to even debate the upcoming heathcare bill? Republicans hate poor people and they especially hate black people and they can’t STAND the fact that we have a black president and every republican in this country and their mouthpiece Fox News is doing their best to keep the average American from getting health care. Republicans are despicable people. Mark Montgomery

Dec 23, 2009 7:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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