WASHINGTON — Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd's (D., Conn.) plan to rewrite financial industry rules ran into stiff resistance from panel Republicans Thursday.
Dodd took heat from GOP lawmakers who said he was moving too fast and hadn't allowed the committee to complete enough legwork before contemplating huge changes to the financial system.
"This committee has not done the necessary work to even begin discussing changes of this magnitude," Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) said in opening remarks before the panel.
Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) asserted that he could "embarrass every senator here" with questions about the bill's unintended consequences, adding that his colleagues could do the same with him.
Dodd has insisted his legislation, which he unveiled last week, is a discussion draft. However, on Thursday he asked committee members to submit amendments for the bill by Wednesday.
Corker asked Dodd to reconsider his demand, calling it a "really bad idea." "I don't think the bill in the form that it's in is amendable," he said.
Dodd did not respond directly to Corker's request, but said he was working to balance the need to create the best possible bill and reach a finished product in a timely manner.
"You act too quickly you can make huge mistakes," he said, adding that waiting too long could imperil reforms to the system that some have been pushing for years. He added that expected future Congresses to modify and improve the final product.
"We're suggesting things and ideas here that will be tested by time," Dodd said.
Dodd's legislation would create a single federal regulator to oversee the banking industry. It would also establish a new agency to protect consumers of financial products and give the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Securities and Exchange Commission, respectively, the power to wind down failing financial firms and brokerages.
Dodd doesn't need Republican support to push the bill through his committee. But without bipartisan support, the legislation could have a far steeper climb in the Senate.