• Divide, Conquer, and Reassemble
  • December 29, 2009
  • Law Firm: Blank Rome LLP - Philadelphia Office
  • The House Financial Services Committee yesterday completed work on the last pieces of its financial reform package, approving the systemic risk bill (H.R. 3996) and the Federal Insurance Office Act (H.R. 2609). Next Tuesday, December 8th, the House Rules Committee will reassemble into one large package all of the bills the Financial Services Committee considered separately. That package will include the two bills approved yesterday as well as legislation covering the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (H.R. 3795), over the counter derivatives (H.R. 3126), executive compensation and corporate governance (H.R. 3269), and mortgage reform and lending standards (H.R. 1728).

    Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) is angling to have the omnibus reform package on the House floor on December 9th with at least three days of debate before the final vote. FR Watch is hearing from others on the committee that the date may slip to the following week. Frank said he anticipates the Rules Committee will approve ten additional, substantive amendments for consideration by the full House.

    As the House is putting its package back together, the Senate Banking Committee is peeling apart the (Chairman Chris) Dodd draft so that bipartisan pairs of Senators can delve more deeply into assigned issue areas. Chairman Dodd (D-CT) and Ranking Member Shelby (R-AL) are focusing on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Senators Reed (D-RI) and Gregg (R-NH) are examining derivatives and credit rating provisions. Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Crapo (R-ID) are taking on corporate governance, investor liability, and executive compensation. Senators Warner (D-VA) and Corker (R-TN) are covering issues related to systemic risk.

    The Senate Banking Committee has not yet scheduled any (financial reform-related) hearings beyond today’s nomination hearing for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, but it is safe to assume that the committee will be fixated on financial reform for the rest of December and probably well into the new year.