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The Dodd-Frank monstrosity; Update: Cloture invoked, final vote this afternoon; it’s done, 60-39

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 15, 2010 08:26 AM

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With GOP assistance on its drafting and three reported Republican votes all but guaranteeing its final passage in the Senate (Snowe, Collins, and Scott Brown), the Dodd-Frank monstrosity masquerading as “financial reform” is on its way.

Read and weep:

A sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial regulations stands on the verge of reaching President Barack Obama’s desk after a year of partisan struggles and delicate cross-party courtships that promised more and delivered less. Only three Senate Republicans say they will vote for the bill during a key vote Thursday that will set the stage for final passage. But the bill bears the fingerprints of many others in the GOP.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., negotiated several provisions with key committee Republicans such as Richard Shelby and Bob Corker. Neither, though, intends to vote for the bill.

…Several 60-vote cliffhangers later, the bill is now two roll calls away from heading for Obama’s signature and becoming law. For a president hungry for good news, passage Thursday would be a welcome achievement.

“Achievement?”

How about a different a-word? I like “assault.” That’s how Heritage describes the legislative behemoth: “The Dodd-Frank Assault on Economic Recovery.”

Following the release of the 2,000-page Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill last Friday, fixed-income portfolio manager Christine McConnell told Businessweek: “Clarity is good. [Once financial institutions] understand the rules of the road they’ll be able to accommodate their business models.” There is only one problem: passage of the Dodd-Frank bill doesn’t provide any clarity. In fact, it does the exact opposite. The New York Times explains: “The bill, completed early Friday and expected to come up for a final vote this week, is basically a 2,000-page missive to federal agencies, instructing regulators to address subjects ranging from derivatives trading to document retention. But it is notably short on specifics, giving regulators significant power to determine its impact.”

In other words, this law is going to be continually rewritten by federal bureaucrats for years to come…

This much is clear: The law enshrines permanent bailouts, saves Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s hides forever, and would impose at least $20 billion in new tax hikes over the next decade.

Want an ugly look at how this bill was “legislated?” Via Brian Faughnan:

Early on Friday morning, a House-Senate conference committee finished work on a consensus version of HR 4173, the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill. The conference committee worked for 20 hours to draft this new bill, and completed the work shortly after 5:00AM.

When Congress meets in the dead of night to decide critical issues, it prompts serious questions about the quality of their work. Were important issues debated thoroughly? Were all Representatives and Senators part of the debate? Did all of them consider their votes carefully?

Not surprisingly, the answer is ‘no.’ On Thursday night, the conference committee debated the ‘Volcker Rule,’ restricting the power of banks to engage in trading. Some feel the rule is necessary, others feel it will kill jobs, and give foreign financial institutions an advantage over American banks. Not only was the debate on the Volcker Rule limited, but an amendment dealing with it was defeated on a vote of 6-10 – with Chairman Barney Frank casting 6 of the ‘no’ votes himself.

Make sure to click the link for video.

This is corruptocrat Sen. from Countrywide Chris Dodd’s swan song. Remember how he summed up this bill himself:

“No one will know until this is actually in place how it works.”

The bureaucrats and lobbyists are raising a grateful farewell toast to him for sure.

***

Speaking of Countrywide, from the WSJ today: “Senate VIP Loans Mount.”

U.S. senators or Senate employees received 30 loans—far more than had previously been known—under a controversial lending program at Countrywide Financial Corp. that provided cut-rate terms to favored borrowers.

The information is contained in a letter sent to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), who has been spearheading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation into Countrywide’s so-called VIP mortgage program.

No specific loan recipients were named in the letter. But Mr. Issa’s letter said borrowers on a dozen loans listed their place of employment as the office of “Senator Robert Bennett.” Available public records don’t indicate that Sen. Bennett, a Utah Republican and member of the Senate Banking Committee, received a Countrywide home loan.

Sens. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D., N.D.), have previously been identified among the high-profile individuals who received such loans. Both senators have denied wrongdoing. Until the Issa letter, no other senators or their staff members had been linked to the VIP loan program.

Good riddance, Sen. Bennett.

Voting out the corruptocrats: The best, most effective “financial reform” there is.

***

Contact info for the Senate Republicans indicating they’ll vote for Dodd-Frank…

Scott Brown (R-MA)
http://scottbrown.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme
Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-4543, (F) (202) 228-2646
Boston: (T) (617) 565-3170, (F) (617) 723-7325

Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorSnowe.Email

Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-5344, Toll free (800) 432-1599, (F) (202) 224-1946
Auburn: (T) (207) 786-2451, (F) (207) 782-1438
Augusta: (T) (207) 622-8292, (F) (207) 622-7295
Bangor: (T) (207) 945-0432, (F) (207) 941-9525
Biddeford: (T) (207) 282-4144, (F) (207) 284-2358
Portland: (T) (207) 874-0883, (F) (207) 874-7631
Presque Isle: (T) (207) 764-5124, (F) (207) 764-6420
Toll free in Maine: (800) 432-1599

Susan Collins (R-ME)
http://collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorCollins.EmailIssue&CFID=42880122&CFTOKEN=39747274
Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-2523, (F) (202) 224-2693
Augusta: (T) (207) 622-8414, (F) (207) 622-5884
Bangor: (T) (207) 945-0417, (F) (207) 990-4604
Biddeford: (T) (207) 283-1101, (F) (207) 283-4054
Caribou: (T) (207) 493-7873, (F) (207) 493-7810
Lewiston: (T) (207) 784-6969, (F) (207) 782-6475
Portland: (T) (207) 780-3575, (F) (207) 828-0380

***

Update 11:38am Eastern Cloture vote passes 60-38, with Snowe, Collins & Brown voting with Dems. Final vote scheduled this afternoon — between 2-230pm Eastern.

Sen. Judd Gregg raises point of order, objecting that Dodd-Frank violates budget act.

2:50pm EasternThe deed is done. Final passage vote – 60-39.

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Categories: Chris Dodd, Corruption, Politics, Subprime crisis

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