Senate panel approves financial overhaul bill

Brady Dennis and David Cho
Washington Post

The Senate Banking Committee approved far-reaching legislation on Monday to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory system by a 13-10 vote along party lines.

The swift approval marked an abrupt shift from the course set for the legislation after its unveiling last week by committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who had said he planned to spend the week considering revisions. The move was strongly supported by Obama administration officials, who are eager to move the long-stalled process forward.

The bill seeks to reshape the rules that have long governed the financial sector. Among the changes, a new bureau would be established inside the Federal Reserve to write and enforce rules to protect consumers, and a council of regulators would be set up to survey threats to the financial system. The legislation would also bring complex derivatives under government oversight and empower officials to take over and shut down the biggest financial firms if they face collapse.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner escalated his rhetoric attack against banks that oppose the measure, warning these firms that the Obama administration could take matters into its own hands by unilaterally imposing far stricter rules on the industry if legislation falls short in Congress.

The article continues at the Washington Post.

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