Financial Reform Watch

Senate Announces Conferees

Aiming to deliver a financial regulatory reform bill to President Obama’s desk before the July 4th recess, this morning Senate Democratic leadership unveiled its list of members charged with reconciling the competing House and Senate versions of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.

The Senate's lineup of conferees includes seven Democrats and five Republicans, eight of which are members of the Banking Committee and four from the Agriculture Committee:

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

  • Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
  • Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL)
  • Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
  • Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH)

Agriculture Committee

  • Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
  • Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Currently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has provided no indication as to when House conferees will be announced, although sources on the Hill are predicting that a list will not be available until after the Memorial Day break.

In preparation for the upcoming negotiations, the Senate yesterday approved, by a vote of 60-30, a non-binding motion to instruct the conferees to retain House-passed language that exempts auto dealers from oversight by a newly created consumer financial protection regulator. In addition, by a vote of 87-4, the Senate approved another motion instructing the conferees to include language that exempts insurance subsidiaries of financial institutions from restrictions on proprietary trading.

Other significant issues that need to be ironed out in conference include a controversial Senate-passed provision that forces banks to divest their swap desks if they wish to receive assistance from the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., along with a House-passed provisions that expands the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) authority to audit the Fed.

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