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Washington
Financial regs jobs bill on early 2010 legislative agenda
WASHINGTON (1/5/10)--While the House and Senate are not expected to return to Washington for another two weeks, one item of business that is high on the Senate’s list is financial regulatory restructuring debate, which was completed by the House just prior to the ongoing holiday break. The break ends for the House on Jan. 11 and the Senate on Jan. 19. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in a recent statement said that "meaningful progress" has been made in the area of financial regulatory reform, with accord being reached on some aspects of enhanced consumer protections and preventing government bailouts of financial firms, modernizing the country's financial regulatory structure and the current oversight of the derivatives market. The legislators also will attempt to end the issue of "Too-Big-to-Fail" financial institutions and will look to focus the Federal Reserve more fully on monetary policy. The legislators are “committed to working together," and are hopeful that the remaining issues that do exist can be resolved before the Senate reconvenes on Jan. 19. The House passed a number of significant financial regulatory reforms late last month. The Senate is also expected to discuss pending jobs legislation this month, and Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) S. 2919, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, could be considered as part of that job creation legislation. The legislation, which was co-signed by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kirsten Gillebrand (D-N.Y.), would increase credit union member business lending (MBL) to 25% of assets and raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a member business loan to $250,000.


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