U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, introduced a bill to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.
Bachmann, pushing the bill on the second day of the new congressional session, said today in a statement that the law signed by President Barack Obama in July “grossly expanded the federal government beyond its jurisdictional boundaries.”
Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is an original co-sponsor of the repeal bill, Bachmann’s statement said.
House Republicans assumed control of the chamber yesterday, with Speaker John Boehner of Ohio taking the gavel from Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat. Boehner said last year that he supported a repeal of Dodd-Frank and Representative Spencer Bachus, the Alabama Republican and new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he would try to change several provisions.
Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, served on the Financial Services panel when the committee considered the largest overhaul of financial regulations since the Great Depression.
Representative Barney Frank, co-author of the law and former chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said the bill “reveals the hypocrisy” of Republican statements on the economy.
“Now that we have put in place a set of rules that allow financial markets to function but which also curb their excesses, Representative Bachmann and her allies want to reintroduce uncertainty by going back to exactly the situation that led to the financial crisis in the first place,” Frank, of Massachusetts, said in a statement.
With Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House, House Republicans will have a difficult time pushing their proposals into law.
Still, the repeal bill underscores Republican intentions to undo much of the Democratic agenda. The House is scheduled to vote on a repeal of the healthcare overhaul law next week.
Two Senate Democrats issued warnings today on one area where House Republicans can have an effect — funding of the federal agencies implementing the law.
Senator Richard Durbin, the Illinois Democrat and second-ranking Senate Democrat, called efforts to reduce funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission “extremely short-sighted.”
“There are many Republicans who did not support Wall Street reform who believe that they can starve the SEC into submission by refusing to put enough people, personnel — lawyers and accountants and others — monitoring the activities of the exchanges,” Durbin said during a press conference in Washington.
Senator Charles Schumer, a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, said Republicans would “rue the day” they cut funding for the SEC enforcement division.
“If you talk to most people in the markets in both New York and Chicago, they want a strong SEC so the bad guys don’t dominate the markets,” Schumer, of New York, told reporters.
Obama, along with House and Senate Democrats, pushed through the overhaul of financial regulations in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.
The collapse of the banking sector led to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the near failure of Bear Stearns Cos. and New York-based insurance firm American International Group Inc., causing the federal government to deploy $700 billion in taxpayer bailout money.
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