The Obama administration came into this summer with a sweeping plan for financial regulation--its proposals for how to prevent another meltdown after the mortgage crisis and the wave of bank failures that led up to President Obama's inauguration and continued to dominate discussion during his first months in office.
Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner rolled out a package of proposals that included the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, regulation of derivatives, and an answer to "too big to fail"--setting up government regulators as a stopgap against gigantic banks taking on too much risks.
Those proposals are making their way through Congress, as the House Financial Services Committee passed Consumer Financial Protection Agency and credit rating agency reform bills earlier this month, and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) is planning to roll all the proposals into one package.
But Democrats have tacked a few more items onto that agenda in the past month, taking up consumer-protection issues designed to protect the little guy from the towering world of business, lending, and finance.
Here's a rundown of what Democrats are working on:
- Moving up the date of credit card reform enactment. President Obama signed a credit card reform bill in May with much fanfare, but the new rules companies won't take effect until January 22--leaving credit card companies with ample time to squeeze their customers. The House Financial Services Committee has approved a bill to move the enactment date up to December 1. A similar bill has been proposed in the Senate by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)