The U.S. Senate bill to overhaul financial regulations is stronger than a version passed in December by the House, and it is likely to stay that way when Congress comes together to merge the two bills, according to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.
Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said some parts of the Senate legislation go beyond his bill. The House section on the regulation of derivatives, for example, was criticized by consumer advocates, including Washington-based Americans for Financial Reform, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler for creating loopholes for financial firms to receive exemptions from much of the new regulations.
“There were votes I lost on the floor of the House that we would have won if we had been doing them now because of the public attention,” Frank said in a May 13 interview.
The public focus on the nation’s largest banks — and on congressional efforts to overhaul regulations — has given lawmakers license to increase pressure on Wall Street. President Barack Obama, in his weekly radio address on May 15, called the Senate measure “a strong bill” that would be a “cornerstone for economic growth.” Frank said the conference would “strengthen” any legislation passed by the Senate.