Republicans Lay Out Principles for Finance Reform Conference

Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:10pm

Senate Republicans serving on the conference committee for the financial regulatory overhaul listed a set of ground rules Thursday “to ensure that the conference is open, transparent and fair.”

In letters sent to Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the Republicans call for votes “on all major issues,” a publicly viewable conference, and “ample time to consider and offer amendments to any proposal before it is voted on by the conference.”

The letter was signed by Banking panel ranking member Richard Shelby (Ala.), Agriculture Committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), and Sens. Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Judd Gregg (N.H.).

“We believe that following these principles not only will help ensure that the conference conducts its work in an orderly and productive fashion, but also will create a fair and open process that allows all members to participate,” the letter read. “Therefore, we request that the conference begin its work by adopting rules that embody these principles.”

The Senate passed Dodd’s sweeping financial overhaul bill May 20 on a 59-39 vote.

Frank has repeatedly suggested that the conference on the bill should be televised. Both Dodd and Frank, the top Democratic negotiators on the bill, have said they want Congress to approve a conference report that can be sent to the president’s desk for his signature by July 4.