Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. Senator Shelby counters on financial consumer watchdog

By Kevin Drawbaugh and Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – A senior Republican U.S. senator has made at least two counter-offers to Democrats on creating a new government watchdog for financial consumers, Reuters learned on Monday from aides and documents.

Senator Richard Shelby proposed making the watchdog a division of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, with some rule-writing power and a director who is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, documents showed.

Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, also has proposed setting up a three-member consumer protection council, said a congressional aide.

Both offers show that negotiations between Shelby and Senator Christopher Dodd, the committee’s Democratic chairman, on a bipartisan financial regulation reform bill are in full swing, but still have some ground to cover.

After marathon talks over the weekend, lawmakers remained snagged on how much rule-writing power the new watchdog should have, no matter where it is located within the government.

Republican U.S. Sen Shelby sets down financial reform markers

U.S. Sen Richard Shelby (R-AL) makes a point while taking questions at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit  in Washington, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Stelios Varias (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS)   WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The top Republican on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee wants a bipartisan deal on financial regulation reform, but sees numerous basic issues as still open to debate, an aide told Reuters on Monday.