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Feb 20, 2011

Government shutdown threat looms over budget fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Senate Democrats slammed Republicans on Sunday for a “reckless” threat to shut down the government as political posturing intensified on both sides over federal spending and the budget deficit.

The House of Representatives approved legislation on Saturday to cut federal spending by $61 billion through September. But The bill, pushed through by Republicans, was sure to be significantly changed by President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats in the Senate.

Feb 20, 2011

Gov’t shutdown threat looms over U.S. budget fight

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Senior U.S. Senate Democrats
slammed Republicans on Sunday for a “reckless” threat to shut
down the government as political posturing intensified on both
sides over federal spending and the budget deficit.

The House of Representatives approved legislation on
Saturday to cut federal spending by $61 billion through
September. But The bill, pushed through by Republicans, was
sure to be significantly changed by President Barack Obama and
his fellow Democrats in the Senate.

Feb 17, 2011

Dodd-Frank battle headlines US Senate bank panel

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Republicans escalated their
push to delay and defund the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms on
Thursday as top regulators appeared before the U.S. Senate
Banking Committee with a new chairman presiding.

Democrat Tim Johnson, replacing Christopher Dodd, gaveled
open his first committee hearing amid calls by Republicans in
the Senate and the House of Representatives for a slow-down in
Dodd-Frank implementation.

Feb 17, 2011

Fight over Dodd-Frank headlines Senate panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans will escalate their push to delay and defund the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms on Thursday as top regulators appear before the Senate Banking Committee with a new chairman presiding.

Replacing Christopher Dodd, Democrat Tim Johnson will lead his first committee hearing amid calls by Republicans for a slow-down in Dodd-Frank implementation and an attempt in the House to cut funding for a new consumer watchdog.

Feb 15, 2011

US lawmakers target big bank dividend increases

, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Seven U.S.
Democratic lawmakers expressed concern on Tuesday that big
banks, some of which are still benefiting from government
financial support, plan to boost their dividends and reduce
capital.

“It seems hard to justify reducing the capital of banks
without considering the continued government support that banks
with outstanding guarantees enjoy,” the lawmakers said in a
letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Feb 14, 2011

Obama holds line on Social Security in budget plan

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Social Security would not
change significantly under President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget
plan, leaving for later a fiscal reckoning on the massive U.S.
pension program for the elderly and disabled.

Saying he wants to work with Congress, Obama offered
general principles for reform reflecting Democrats’ long-held
commitment to defend the politically popular program, but he
offered no new proposals to secure its long-term stability.

Feb 10, 2011

Rep Frank vows fight over GOP attack on Dodd-Frank

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Democrats will resist
Republican attempts to weaken Dodd-Frank financial reforms
through underfunding key U.S. regulatory agencies,
Representative Barney Frank told Reuters on Thursday.

“We intend to make a fight,” Frank, senior Democrat on the
House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview as
House Republicans agreed to pursue deep government spending
cuts in the name of combating the soaring budget deficit.

Feb 9, 2011

Big insurers ask Geithner for Dodd-Frank slowdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major insurance companies are asking U.S. regulators to put the brakes on applying a key part of last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reforms to their industry, according to a letter obtained on Wednesday.

The insurers want action deferred on a rule that could subject them to tighter oversight. The rule has to do with financial firms judged to be so large and interconnected that their stability is important to the overall economy.

Feb 7, 2011

Senate memo shows hard road for Dodd-Frank foes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The steep uphill climb faced by Republicans in trying to roll back last year’s Dodd-Frank law was made clear on Monday by a memo from the Senate Banking Committee pledging to protect financial reforms.

The agenda memo, obtained by Reuters, showed the Senate committee, still under the control of Democrats, will examine much the same issues being targeted by its counterpart panel in the Republican-controlled House — but with different goals.

Feb 6, 2011

Deposit insurance costs climbing for big banks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mega-banks will have to pay more for U.S. deposit insurance under a new regulation set for final approval on Monday as the government advances a boatload of financial oversight changes.

Other measures to be considered this week include curbing bonus plans at banks that encourage too much risk-taking, and limiting the role of much-maligned credit ratings.