Irregular Deregulation: Senate Bill Aims to End Independence for SEC, Consumer Protection and More

I have sat on this post for several days. But this information must be shared, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us. In 2007-2008, we learned what lax oversight means to this country. If we hoped for any lasting future protections from predatory practices, they were dashed this past week with news of the following Editorial Board editorial from the New York Times. Here, we learn that the independence of critical protections are at stake.

For all its rabid partisanship, Congress has shown time and again that it is willing to come together to deregulate corporate America. The latest example is a new bill in the Senate that would effectively end the independence of independent regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

And you know the hijacked (by the Tea Party) House of Representatives will be eager to pass such predation should it pass the Senate. It is bad enough that Dodd-Frank under-protected us, but for Senators to try to weaken even that bill is inexcusable. Making the commissions and Bureaus less independent will do just that. And the SEC isn't the only entity the senators have taken aim at. Strikingly, Virginians have one of their our own to "thank" for this: U.S. Senator Mark Warner. He is joined by Rob Portman and Susan Collins.

Further clarification from the Times on what this all means:

In the long run, [the bill] would benefit powerful corporate interests over investor protection, consumer health and safety and basic fairness.

Unlike cabinet departments and executive agencies, independent agencies do not report to the White House. They are overseen by Congress, which deemed them independent to insulate them from pressure by the executive branch and to keep them focused on their public missions.

The Senate bill, called the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2013, would require such agencies to submit all significant draft rules to the White House for review. The stated goal is to ensure that new rules appropriately balance costs and benefits. In reality, White House review, first established in 1980 to vet draft regulations from executive agencies, has long proved to be an obstacle to timely and strong regulation.

So we have a Congress, which will not do anything helpful to the American people to save its life. But it works to eliminate what little protections Americans have. You know where this "train" is headed" and that is right over the cliff.  

Here is the link for bill. It's referred to as S1173.

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