• Opening Statements on the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2009
  • December 3, 2009 | Author: Sarah D. McElroy
  • Law Firm: Alston & Bird LLP - Atlanta Office
  • On Thursday, members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held an executive session at which they delivered opening remarks as the Committee began debate on the proposed Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2009.  

    Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Committee, invited Committee members to “discuss their thoughts and ideas ... on how to make this a stronger and better bill,” while cautioning that the American economy “would not survive another shock.”  Senator Dodd called on the Committee members to work together to deliver legislation to address the economic crisis, warning that “failure to take strong action to reform our system would be an act of legislative negligence.”  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) echoed Senator Dodd’s concerns, stating that “stalling is not an answer” and that the Committee would be “derelict” if it failed to move forward with the proposed legislation.

    Republican members of the Committee voiced their opposition to the draft of the legislation, including Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL).  Senator Shelby stated that although he shares “many of the same goals” as Senator Dodd, the “Dodd bill requires a complete rewrite” and expressed his concern that the bill “codifies too big to fail” and creates “bureaucratic band-aids” that will prove ineffective.  Senator Shelby specifically highlighted his concern that the bill strips the FDIC of its power to regulate state-chartered banks and creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency  that would separate safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection.  Other members expressed similar concerns that the Committee had not engaged in enough investigation, diligence, fact gathering or dialogue to enact the legislation.  Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) cautioned the Committee to “get answers before rushing to legislation.”