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Congressional Republicans declared war on President Barack Obama‘s financial overhaul as soon as it it became law last year and they are using every tool at their disposal to weaken the reforms and restore the ability of financial institutions to screw their customers.
And they could be winning the war — bit by bit — over a White House distracted by multiple wars and battles over the debt ceiling.
Writes Alan Fram of The Associated Press:
Wary of trying to repeal the entire statute and being portrayed as Wall Street’s protectors — banks rank among the country’s least popular institutions — GOP lawmakers are trying to nibble away at the behemoth measure. It’s a crusade they’ve waged all year, despite lacking the White House and Senate control they need to prevail.
Days ago, one Republican-run House committee approved bills diluting parts of the law requiring reports on corporate salaries and exempting some investment advisers from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Another House panel voted to slice $200 million from Obama’s $1.4 billion budget request for the SEC, which has a major enforcement role.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are continuing a procedural blockade that has helped prevent Obama from putting Elizabeth Warren or anyone else in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which opens its doors in two weeks.
Republicans claim the law hurts “the formation of capital, the cost of capital and access to capital.” Democrats, thinking they still have the votes to stop the GOP efforts, say the whole thing is just a political ploy to raise campaign funds from the rich financial sector.