commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Who will be affected by the Wall Street Financial Reform Bill?

Actually……as this piece points out…..

Most of the business and people affected by the upcoming bill ( and its formation of a new Consumer-Finance Regulator ) before the Senate and House conference committee’s are not on Wall Street at all……

They are Retailers…..

Auto Dealers…….

The Big Banks….

State Attorney General’s…..

The Derivatives Traders……

These people and their lobbyists will be working at a final shoot at the rules makers before they hash out the different versions of the bills in the House and Senate …and vote on a finished version for the President to sign and enact…..

It’s not just bankers.

Auto dealers, attorneys general and derivatives traders are among those sitting anxiously as Congress enters the final stretch of its financial-regulation revamp. The two bills approved by lawmakers contain numerous differences, and negotiations to hammer out a compromise will begin in earnest this week. All told, they’ll represent the biggest change to the U.S.’s system of financial oversight in 80 years.

Reflecting the all-encompassing nature of the legislation, some of the widest gaps affect people far from Wall Street. Auto dealers are lobbying hard to be excluded from oversight by a proposed consumer-finance regulator. Retailers want relief from what they say are punitive fees charged by credit-card companies. Non-financial companies are fighting for more flexibility in using derivatives.

Here’s a look at some of the differences that have to be hammered out and those most likely to be affected by the outcome:

The Retailer

Retailers want a provision currently only in the Senate bill that would lift constraints imposed by credit-card networks. They want to be able to offer discounts on cheaper forms of payment, or impose a minimum charge for card payments. Networks currently charge retailers a fixed fee and 1.5% to 2% of the purchase price on credit-card transactions. Debit cards generally cost slightly less.


June 6, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , | 2 Comments

Update on the Wall Street Financial Reform Bill……

This from desmoinesdem over @ MyDD……

These thirteen senators have been named to the conference committee that will reconcile differences between the financial reform bills approved by the House last December and the Senate last week. They include eight Democrats and five Republicans, eight members of the Banking Committee and five from the Agriculture Committee. The House will also have 13 representatives on the conference committee; House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has recommended these eight Democrats, but I haven’t seen a list of the five Republican members yet.

On the key differences between the House and Senate versions of financial regulations, see Pat Garofalo’s Wonk Room chart and this post by David Dayen. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who is one of the conferees, promised yesterday to

“do everything in my power to preserve the bill’s integrity, strengthen its consumer protections, and stop the reckless financial wheeling and dealing that destabilized our economy and threw millions of Americans out of work. And, given the dangers they pose if not properly regulated, I plan to focus on preserving the key reforms in the Senate-passed derivatives portion of the bill. The Restoring American Financial Stability Act is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to improving it in conference.”

Harkin has his work cut out for him if he wants to preserve the Senate language on derivatives.Dayen wrote last week,

Everyone expects the 716 provision, which forces the mega-banks to spin off their swaps trading desks, to be excised in conference. But Michael Greenberger believes something like it will be retained. The House’s derivatives piece is a mess and nearly useless, but [conference committee chairman] Barney Frank has admitted a mistake on that front, and wants to preserve strong rules against derivatives, like in the Senate bill.

The smart money is on the conference committee dropping the strong derivatives language after the Arkansas Democratic primary runoff election on June 8. Until then, corporate hack Senator Blanche Lincoln needs to be able to brag about standing up to Wall Street lobbyists.


May 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates, Women | , | 1 Comment

The Healthcare bill will be a Simple Majority vote in the Senate……

What’s the big deal?

The Republican’s used the procedure numerous times in past…as did Bill Clinton…..

Do it already!…get the bill pasted, and move on……

From Nathan Empsall over @ MyDD.COM……

Harry Reid has written Mitch McConnell to say that he’ll use budget reconciliation to pass health care reform.

60 Senators voted to pass historic reform that will make health insurance more affordable, make health insurance companies more accountable and reduce our deficit by roughly a trillion dollars. The House passed a similar bill. However, many Republicans now are demanding that we simply ignore the progress we’ve made, the extensive debate and negotiations we’ve held, the amendments we’ve added (including more than 100 from Republicans) and the votes of a supermajority in favor of a bill whose contents the American people unambiguously support. We will not. We will finish the job. We will do so by revising individual elements of the bills both Houses of Congress passed last year, and we plan to use the regular budget reconciliation process that the Republican caucus has used many times.I know that many Republicans have expressed concerns with our use of the existing Senate rules, but their argument is unjustified. There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about the use of reconciliation. As one of the most senior Senators in your caucus, Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, said in explaining the use of this very same option, “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so.” Similarly, as non-partisan congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein said in this Sunday’s New York Times, our proposal is “compatible with the law, Senate rules and the framers’ intent.”

Reconciliation is designed to deal with budget-related matters, and some have expressed doubt that it could be used for comprehensive health care reform that includes many policies with no budget implications. But the reconciliation bill now under consideration would not be the vehicle for comprehensive reform – that bill already passed outside of reconciliation with 60 votes. Instead, reconciliation would be used to make a modest number of changes to the original legislation, all of which would be budget-related. There is nothing inappropriate about this. Reconciliation has been used many times for a variety of health-related matters, including the establishment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and COBRA benefits, and many changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

It’s official. Game on.

March 11, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment



Reconciliation is a legislative process in the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a contentious budget bill without the threat of filibuster. Introduced in 1974, reconciliation limits debate and amendment, and therefore favors the majority party. Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.

Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton‘s 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.

Although reconciliation was originally understood to be for the purpose of improving the government’s fiscal position (reducing deficits or increasing surpluses), the language of the 1974 act referred only to “changes” in revenue and spending amounts; not specifically to increases or decreases.

In 1999, the Senate for the first time used reconciliation to pass legislation that would increase deficits: the Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act 1999. This act was passed when the Government was expected to run large surpluses: it was subsequently vetoed by President Clinton. A similar situation happened in 2000, when the Senate again used reconciliation to pass the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act 2000, which was also vetoed by Clinton. At the time the use of the reconciliation procedure to pass such bills was controversial.[3]

During the administration of President George W. Bush, Congress used reconciliation to enact three major tax cuts, each of which was predicted by the Congressional Budget Office to substantially worsen the fiscal position of the United Statea.[4] These tax cuts were set to lapse after 10 years to satisfy the Byrd Rule.

Efforts to use reconciliation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling failed.

From Wikipedia……

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , | Leave a comment