Senate Republicans worry regulators rushing Dodd-Frank regs

"The potential harm to our already weak economy and the public from ill-conceived rules cannot be underestimated," the 10 GOP members of the committee, led by ranking member Richard Shelby (Ala.), wrote.

The letter, dated Feb. 15, was sent to the heads of various financial regulators, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

It comes as regulators are hard at work implementing hundreds of new rules required by the Dodd-Frank overhaul. There are a variety of deadlines for various rules, but the bulk of the implementation work is scheduled to be done by July, one year after the law was enacted.

The senators expressed concern about the small windows allowed for public comment, noting that comment periods lasted on average 40 days, as opposed to the 60-day comment periods required by the Office of Management and Budget.

Even more worrisome, they noted, some commenters were able to identify flaws in the proposed rules.

The letter cites a group of energy companies that singled out an estimate by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on the personnel costs tied to meeting a particular Dodd-Frank obligation on derivatives. The private group determined that the cost would be 63 times greater than estimated by the agency.

"If afforded additional time, more unanticipated consequences of proposed rules could be detected," the senators stated.

Accompanying the letter is a series of questions for the regulators, asking if they will allow the full 60 days for public comment and what they are doing to ensure the rules meet the law's requirements with the smallest burden possible.

The senators also ask whether regulators would benefit from having more time to implement the rules.