This year's remaining agenda for Congress and the Obama administration, ambitious and wide-ranging, includes substantial issues such as health care, cap-and-trade legislation, an energy bill and the 2010 federal budget. Enacting financial regulatory reform that addresses the dangers from too-big-to-fail institutions is also a top priority of both the administration and the Congress. As a result, the outlook for community banking's policy objectives in Washington is bright. Most of ICBA's major policy recommendations have had powerful allies in the administration and Congress from the outset.
Points Fine By caMden R. fine, PReSident and ceo of icBa AUTUMn For Too-Big-To-FAiL? After a long August of scorching town-hall meet- As with any legislation, how ings in their home districts, members of Congress are quickly the financial reform returning this month to the highly uncertain political policymaking wheels will turn climate of Washington, D.C. This year’s remaining in Congress is uncertain. It’s too agenda for Congress and the Obama administration, soon to know if lawmakers can ambitious and wide-ranging, includes substantial complete such a complex pack- issues such as health care, cap-and-trade legislation, age of financial reforms this year. an energy bill and the 2010 federal budget. Enacting Legislation could move forward in financial regulatory reform that addresses the dangers a piecemeal fashion with a series from too-big-to-fail institutions is also a top priority of targeted bills this year and next. of both the administration and the Congress. However, Americans are paying The administration’s sweeping regulatory reform close attention to this debate, and plan, the subject of congressional hearings that ICBA lawmakers know it. American tax- participated in this summer, represents the most payers know that too-big-to-fail far-reaching financial legislation in 75 years. At its was a major factor in the financial heart, the plan endorses many vital ICBA policy crisis and severely complicated Taxpayers know recommendations to rein in the megabanks and the government’s efforts to fix it. intuitively that unregulated nonbanks that have brought Americans Taxpayers know intuitively that until too-big-to-fail so much anxiety and pain during the past two years. until too-big-to-fail is resolved, is resolved, their Community bankers should be cautious and vigi- their money is at risk. money is at risk. lant but also confident and hopeful that our posi- After 25 years of warning poli- tions on how to de
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