Democrats plan to push financial-rules bill

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Democrats plan to push financial-rules bill

Columbus Dispatch – WASHINGTON – Legislation overhauling regulations of the financial system was to be a rare example of bipartisanship, with lawmakers from both parties joining together to curb excesses and limit risks that plunged the nation into a deep recession.

But the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, is trying to rally his members to oppose the financial-regulation bill, which could be voted on in the Senate as early as this week.

That's not necessarily bad news in the view of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Brown is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, and he wasn't entirely happy with the bill crafted by the committee's chairman, fellow Democrat Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Dodd tried for months to draw up a centrist bill that could attract Republican support, but he failed to get any votes from GOP committee members.

Now, Brown and fellow liberal Democrats will try, from their perspective, to strengthen consumer protections and increase restrictions on big banks when the bill reaches the Senate floor.

"You don't write good financial reform to make Wall Street happy," Brown said. "They were happy with what happened in the '90s, they were happy with what George (W.) Bush gave them in the first eight years of this decade. If that's the way we are going to legislate, all in the name of 'centrism,' then we don't end up serving the public; we serve the interest groups and bank lobby."

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