The Obama administration’s efforts to rein in Wall Street face opposition from members of the president’s own party. In June, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee attacked a Republican senator for having “supported repealing Wall Street Reform.” But the DSCC’s chairman, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, is one of dozens of Democrats in Congress seeking to block implementation of key reforms in the party’s 2010 law to increase the financial industry’s accountability.
The discrepancy between Democrats’ rhetoric and their actions could be crucial as Congress moves to close out the year with a flurry of bills designed to undermine regulation of the financial sector. Lawmakers may use unrelated, must-pass spending bills as vehicles to deliver legislative victories for Wall Street — while the financial industry sends cash to their campaign committees.
One package of deregulatory riders would allow more banks to receive exemptions from new mortgage rules. Another would reduce the number of banks subject to added oversight from the Federal Reserve. Lawmakers may also vote on a bill to reduce prosecution of white-collar crime.