Dozens of amendments offered on financial overhaul bill

Roughly 15 months after the global financial system teetered on the brink of a cataclysmic implosion, the House of Representatives on Thursday began debating the most sweeping rewrite of financial regulation since the Great Depression.

The House began considering 36 amendments, after House leaders whittled down the 200-plus offered for consideration. That’s more amendments than were offered on the health care legislation that moved through the House this year, and it speaks to the contentious nature of financial revisions.

Conservative Democrats such as Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho and Rep. Travis Childers of Mississippi teamed up with moderate Republicans such as Rep. Michael Castle of Delaware and Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois to offer an alternative to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Financial giants such as Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a lobbying heavyweight, have tried to kill the consumer panel. To that end, the bipartisan group of moderates is offering instead a Consumer Financial Protection Council.

It would be made up of 12 members, including most federal bank regulators, and would do much of what the Consumer Financial Protection Agency would do but it wouldn’t create a standalone agency with new regulatory powers.

Kansas Star