On-Site Coverage: Corker Said He and Dodd Had Reached Agreement on Consumer Agency
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bob Corker said today before Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd decided to introduce his own bill, he and Dodd had reached an agreement that the new consumer regulatory entity would be housed in the Federal Reserve and headed by a presidential appointee and would have authority over all institutions that offer financial products.
He said at a news conference that the compromise involved broad rulemaking authority for the new regulator, but the enforcement would be done by the prudential regulator. If the consumer regulator has concerns about a financial institution's practices, they could send a representative to the examination being conducted by the safety and soundness regulator, such as the NCUA.
Corker (R-Tenn.) said he hopes the bill that Dodd (D-Conn.) plans to unveil on Monday will keep much of the language on consumer regulation, but Corker said he expects the legislation to be "a little to the left of where we were." Corker said he sensed that Dodd is introducing his own bill to expedite the process so the Senate can pass a bill before dealing with health care legislation. Dodd has not explained what specifically triggered his decision.
He said at a news conference that Dodd's decision to go it alone is "very disappointing," because they were on the "five yard line." Corker said the biggest areas that still needed to be resolved were how to regulate derivatives.
Corker said he still planned to work with Dodd on the issue but criticized Dodd's plan to debate and amend legislation on such a complex subject in one week, starting on March 22.
"If they do that, the states that elect [those lawmakers on the committee] may as well send robots,'' Corker said.