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March 26, 2013

Senate Republicans Push to Slow Financial Rule-Writing

Congress cut a deal to keep the lights on in Washington. But new measures in the Senate may cut the power of financial regulators to curb Wall Street risk-taking.

Senate Republicans are seeking on Friday to erect potential new obstacles to financial rule-writing at agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The nonbinding amendments tucked into the Senate budget plan call on agencies to evaluate more carefully the economic effects of new regulation, cutting off potential shortcuts to so-called cost-benefit studies.

Lawmakers are unlikely to reconcile the Senate budget with the House’s plans, making the measures more symbolic than anything else. And it is unclear whether lawmakers will approve the Republican amendments to the Senate’s blueprint, the chamber’s first budget since 2009. The votes are part of what Washington insiders labeled “vote-o-rama” — dozens of amendments flying through the Senate on Friday.

The Republican author of one financial amendment — Senator Susan Collins of Maine — argues that new financial rules should tread lightly on the fragile economy. A summary of Ms. Collins’s amendment to the budget plan calls for “sensible regulatory reform.””

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Read full New York Times article here

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