Dodd Unveils Financial Regulation Bill

BY Carolyn O'Hara  March 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM EDT

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., unveiled a bill Monday to overhaul the U.S. financial system, proposing new powers for the Federal Reserve to oversee the nation’s largest financial firms; a consumer protection agency housed within the Fed; and a new systemic risk council headed by the Treasury Secretary to identify and monitor complex firms that could pose a threat to the country’s financial stability.

The nearly 1,400-page bill also includes closer regulation of derivatives, new powers for shareholders to influence how much CEOs are paid, and mechanisms that enable the government to seize and wind down large failing companies deemed a risk to the economy.

Despite bringing the bill forth without a GOP partner, Sen. Dodd expressed hope that, because much progress on divisive issues had been made in recent negotiations, the bill will proceed with Republican support. “We will have financial reform adopted this year in the Congress of the United States,” Dodd said at a news conference unveiling the bill.

In a statement supporting the bill, President Barack Obama said, “As the bill moves forward, I will take every opportunity to work with Chairman Dodd and his colleagues to strengthen the bill and will fight against efforts to weaken it.”

Sen. Dodd will appear on the NewsHour Monday evening to discuss the bill’s specifics and its prospects for passage.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been working with Sen. Dodd for the past several weeks after Dodd’s negotiations with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., broke down, said that while he appreciates that some elements they had worked on were included, “The bill [Dodd] has introduced has a number of policies I cannot support, but I will continue working through the amendment process in committee and on the floor to hopefully make it a bill that can receive broad bipartisan support.”

Likely to be contentious as the bill moves into debate in the banking committee, reports the New York Times:

…”the scope of authority for a new Consumer Financial Protection Bill to be established within the Fed; the scope of exemptions under new rules governing the trade of derivatives; and the mechanism by which the government could seize and dismantle a large company on the verge of failure.