Jan 22 2010

Banking Committee Republicans Request Hearings on Obama Proposal

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking Republican on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today led the Republican members of the committee in sending a letter to committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) requesting hearings on new initiatives announced yesterday by President Obama that the administration believes should be included in the financial regulatory reform package.

Shelby also issued the following additional statement:

"If the Obama Administration believes this plan should be included in the financial regulatory reform package, Chairman Dodd should hold a series of hearings so the Banking Committee can determine whether the proposal has merit.  Secretary Geithner should be afforded an opportunity to explain his previously expressed concerns with the plan.

"Until that happens we need to focus first, and foremost, on eliminating the bailout culture.  Limits on Wall Street’s activities may be warranted, but unless and until we end taxpayer exposure to massive bailouts, we will not have addressed the root of the problem.   

"Two steps must be taken to eliminate future bailouts.  First, the Obama Administration must drop its demand for permanent  authority to undertake taxpayer funded bailouts.  Second, the failed regulatory structure that contributed to this crisis must be changed and the role of Federal Reserve must be reduced.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration wants to reward the Fed’s regulatory failures with more power and responsibility. 

"Wall Street needs to know that the taxpayer’s wallet is no longer open for bailouts and that the Federal Reserve will no longer be allowed to aid and abet excessive risk taking."