Shelby: GOP majority would 'revisit' Wall Street reform law

A Republican majority in the Senate would "revisit" the Wall Street reform bill passed earlier this year, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Tuesday.

Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee who might become chairman under a GOP majority, suggested that Republicans might strip out elements of the bill most favored by President Obama and congressional Democrats if Republicans win control of Congress.

"The bill is so sweeping and such a game-changer in many ways that it's incumbent upon us to revisit it," Shelby said at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Shelby had in part led the opposition to the Wall Street reform bill that finally passed Congress in July and was signed into law by President Obama. Revisiting that law, the Alabama Republican said, would start with oversight hearings and figuring out what elements need changing.

In particular, Shelby named the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as one of the most distasteful parts of the law. Obama named Elizabeth Warren, the former chairwoman of the board overseeing the Wall Street bailout program, to an appointed advisory position to help get that agency off the ground.

Democrats have sought to make the financial regulatory reform package a major part of their election-year message. Polls show it as one of the most popular initiatives undertaken by Democrats in the last year and a half, and they have sought to seize on Republican candidates who have said they would repeal part or all of the bill.

Shelby said a GOP majority would look to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises supporting the mortgage market. Tackling those would be a "very high priority" for a Republican-controlled Banking Committee, Shelby asserted.