Today is the 5th anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. When the bill was being debated, I was torn on which strategy is best, to strike while the iron is hot -- to implement financial reform legislation as soon as possible -- or to take a patient approach that allows careful consideration and study of proposed regulatory changes:
Moments ago, the in a 241-185 vote, the House passed passed H.R. 3189, aka Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act. The bill would make changes to how the Fed conducts monetary policy and regulatory activities and would direct the Fed to take a rules-based approach to interest rate decisions; require audits of more Fed functions such as monetary policy; and place restrictions on its emergency lending powers. In other words, everything that the banks that are direct and indirect stakeholders in the Fed would fight to the death to prevent.
The Senate avoided the recent custom of the minority engaging in maximum obstruction to slow down the passage of a law that has the votes to pass, and wound up voting in favor of an overhaul of Wall Street regulation last night: “The vote was 59 to 39, with four Republicans joining the Democratic majority in favor of the bill. Two Democrats opposed the measure, saying it was still not tough enough.”
The post below, which looks like it could be extremely important, is by Mike Konczal, author of the popular (for those in the know) Rortybomb blog, a previous guest blogger on this site, and now a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute – James
Congress-watcher Norm Ornstein says the 111th Congress -- that's this one -- "is on a path to become one of the most productive since the Great Society 89th Congress in 1965-66." The big player here is the stimulus bill, which did more on its own than any two or three Congresses put together. But don't ignore the accomplishments of the House of Representatives: Not only did it pass a health-care reform bill, but it also passed cap-and-trade legislation and a financial regulation package.