By Alexander Bolton - 05/05/10 05:19 PM EDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Republicans Wednesday of “making love to Wall Street.”
Reid charged that Republicans are stalling action on a Wall Street
reform bill because “they are having difficulty determining how they’re
going to continue making love to Wall Street” by resisting banking
The deal Dodd struck with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking
member on his panel, is focused on how to deal with “too big to fail”
institutions. It’s not clear whether the deal to provide for the
orderly liquidation of troubled banks would be enough to solve the
partisan dispute over other amendments.
“They won’t let us deal with any amendments,” Reid complained before
Dodd’s announcement. He noted that Republicans had objected to
amendments offered by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that Democrats would
accept without opposition.
Republicans relented later in the day by allowing roll-call votes on two amendments, which the Senate adopted.
The GOP also allowed the chamber to adopt the Snowe amendments by voice-vote.
Republicans say they are trying to fix provisions they contend would
damage the national economy. They argue proposed regulations of the
derivatives market could force it overseas. They also contend that a
proposed consumer financial protection bureau could stifle businesses
and small banks.
Reid, however, accused the GOP of obstruction.
“It’s obvious they don’t want to put any decent restrictions on what Wall Street has done or are doing,” he said.
Under the deal with Shelby, Dodd agreed to amend a proposal to set up a
$50 billion fund to pay for the dissolution of troubled institutions.
Big banks would no longer have to pay into a rescue fund to liquidate
large, troubled financial institutions. Instead, creditors would have
to pay liquidation costs that exceed the value of the assets sold off
during bankruptcy proceedings.
“Creditors will be required to pay back the government any amounts they
received above what they would have gotten in liquidation,” Dodd
announced in a statement. “Those who directly benefited from the
orderly liquidation will be the first to pay back the government at a
Dodd said the agreement would empower the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation to unwind troubled banks that pose a risk to the markets.
Dodd and Shelby offered their agreement in an amendment the Senate adopted by a vote of 93-5 Wednesday afternoon.
The chamber also voted 96-1 for an amendment offered by Sen. Barbara
Boxer (D-Calif.) that would place a strict prohibition on using
taxpayer funds to rescue financial companies.
At his press conference, Reid reiterated that he supports adopting amendments to the reform bill by simple majority vote.
The Boxer and Dodd-Shelby amendments needed only a simple majority to pass, according to a Democratic aide.
Reid said he would also review an amendment offered by Sen. Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.) that would require the Federal Reserve to submit to a
Government Accountability Office audit, a proposal the Obama
administration staunchly opposes.
Reid touted his long record of supporting greater scrutiny of the Fed,
noting he joined Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) to call for a study of
perks received by the Fed’s board of directors.
“I’ve been working on the Fed for many, many years,” he said.