WASHINGTON — Two senior Democrats are urging congressional leaders to block financial policy riders from a yearend budget deal, including Sen. Richard Shelby's sweeping regulatory reform package.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Maxine Waters of California wrote to party leaders on both sides of the aisle, invoking the fight last December over the Dodd-Frank Act's "swaps pushout" provision, which was largely dismantled as part of a must-pass spending deal.
The lawmakers, who serve as the lead Democrats on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees, respectively, warned that Congress should not allow a similar agreement to take place this year. The short-term spending resolution currently in place is set to expire Dec. 11. Lawmakers will likely focus at that time on setting up a budget plan to last through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
"We do not think this action well served the American public, or the public's perception of the U.S. Congress," they wrote of last year's agreement, in a letter Thursday. "We hope that Congress does not make the same mistake this year by including riders that weaken Wall Street Reform in end-of-the-year funding legislation."
Both Brown and Waters have been critical of Shelby's legislation, which would provide regulatory relief for small and regional banks and make changes to the Federal Reserve, the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the insurance industry.
The bill was included in its entirety as part of the Senate's financial services funding plan, which passed the Appropriations Committee in July — a move strongly opposed by Democrats. In addition, both the House and Senate proposed funding measures that would subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the congressional appropriations process. The Senate version would also change its leadership structure from a single director to a five-person board, a move supported by the House panel.