GOP Drops Opposition Over Financial Rules Debate
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
And Audie, let's recap the action from today: The Republicans had blocked the bill successfully for a third time today. What happened after that?
AUDIE CORNISH: So because they reached the impasse and the talks were over, Republicans could essentially say, we gave it a shot, fine, it didn't work. We're willing to go to the floor. Again, Senator Shelby did say that he'd gotten some assurances on things that he was concerned about in the bill, in particular, about this proposed $50 billion bailout fund, they were calling it, which was supposed to liquidate financial firms. But essentially, the end of bipartisan talks has meant the start of formal debate.
BLOCK: Audie, what are some of the points of disagreement still between the Democrats and the Republicans on this bill?
CORNISH: Two key issues. First is the consumer protection bureau, this is this division that's proposed to be in the Federal Reserve that would watch over consumer lending, like mortgages and credit cards. But the Republicans are saying that this would sort of ensnare dentists and auto dealers and any other business that gets paid in installments. The other issue is derivatives. This is - these are those complex financial contracts that companies use to hedge their risk. The Dodd bill, as it stands now, has a controversial provision that would demand that banks who want to get involved in this market spin off those departments. And at the same time, you've got farmers, manufacturers, others who were saying that they're getting swept up because they deal in derivatives and that they shouldn't be forced under this regulation.
BLOCK: So the bill now moves to the floor for debate in the Senate, what can we expect to happen in the next few days?
CORNISH: Well, formal debate is set to begin on Thursday around noon, and that's according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Expect a lot of amendments on this bill. There are people on the left and the right in the Senate who have said we need to make the bill a little stronger in this area, or we need to loosen some things here and there. And they're talking about trying to have a bill passed by Memorial Day.
BLOCK: Okay. NPR's Audie Cornish on Capitol Hill. Thanks very much.
CORNISH: Thank you.
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