Support grows for amendment to exempt small businesses from regulations

Approval seemed assured Wednesday for an amendment to exempt certain small businesses from additional regulations under a proposed consumer protection agency. 

Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said the amendment "makes it abundantly clear" that small businesses won't be included in a new regulatory framework under a proposed financial reform bill. 

The provision "does strengthen this tremendously," Dodd said today on the floor. "The bill was never meant to include Main Street."

A major sticking point in the bill, Republicans and moderate Democrats have questioned the scope of provisions creating a consumer protection agency, arguing that any business that lends money to its customers would be caught in additional regulations. 

The amendment could move along negotiations on the consumer protection part of the measure. 

Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and the panel's ranking member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have teamed up to ensure that planned Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, doesn't include small businesses such as dentists.