GOP regulator cites ObamaCare woes in opposing Volcker Rule

A Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission cited the “hubris” of ObamaCare in his opposition to sweeping new financial regulators.

Daniel Gallagher, a GOP commissioner on the regulator, said the botched implementation of the healthcare reform law is the “greatest display of governmental hubris in our lifetimes” and should serve as a note of warning to regulators weighing new rules on the financial sector.

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“One would expect this catastrophe to be reason for caution and introspection as the government proceeds with other major incursions into private markets, but that apparently is not the case,” he said in a statement.

Gallagher’s remarks came as the SEC and other financial regulators finally approved rules implementing the “Volcker Rule,” a key piece of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Regulators have spent years writing the rules for that provision, which is aimed at limiting risky trading by banks looking to reap hefty profits.

Gallagher went on to criticize the short time frame regulators have to review the final version of the rules, as he argued the push to finalize the rules by years’ end was “utterly artificial” and “wholly political.”

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had pushed regulators to finalize the Volcker Rule by the end of 2013, after they first proposed the rules back in 2011.

Gallagher went on to jokingly suggest that regulators should set up their own Web portal for the Volcker Rule, riffing off the struggles to get HealthCare.gov off the ground.

“Perhaps they can set up a 'volcker.gov' Web portal to implement the rule and provide reassurance that if you like your capital markets - still the deepest, fairest, and safest the world has ever known - you can keep them ... period,” he said.

The SEC’s three Democratic commissioners signed off on the rule, against the objections of Gallagher and his fellow Republican commissioner, Michael Piwowar. The latter also criticized the rulemaking process as rushed, and the original rule should have been re-proposed before it was finalized.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White hailed the final product as strong and balanced, while praising efforts by staff to taking into consideration thousands of public comments on the proposed rule before finalizing it.