Health care reform is in first place on President Obama’s agenda, but financial services regulatory reform has climbed to a strong second. Indeed, after a flurry of regulatory reform hearings — more than 10 since September — Chairman Barney Frank is making big strides to move financial services regulatory reform. On October 14, 2009, Frank led the House Financial Services Committee through mark-ups of regulatory reform legislation including:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act (CFPA) (H.R. 3126);
  • OTC Derivatives Markets Act (H.R. 3795);
  • Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers (H.R. 3639); and
  • H.R. 3763 to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide for an exclusion from Red Flag Guidelines for certain businesses.

The Committee voted 43-26 to approve comprehensive regulation of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives marketplace (H.R. 3795) and is expected to approve the CFPA bill by October 22.

At this pace, it is likely Chairman Frank will make good on his pledge to have regulatory reform legislation through the House in November. In the Senate, the Banking Committee will take up regulatory reform in earnest later this fall. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) has been very involved in health care reform. But, with that bill progressing, Dodd is turning his attention to drafting a comprehensive financial services regulatory bill. Dodd has said he intends to offer his version of financial regulatory reform legislation before the December recess.