Lincoln Pushes Ahead With Crackdown on Financial Derivatives

Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:30pm

Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is forging ahead with legislation to regulate the derivatives market that could be marked up as early as next week.

The move was quickly rebuked by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the committee, sharpening the partisan divide over financial reform.

“Sen. Chambliss was hopeful to get a bipartisan agreement, but clearly the administration’s politics have gotten in the way of meaningful reform,” spokeswoman Erin Hamm said. “Sen. Chambliss cannot support this new proposal.”

Earlier in the day, Chambliss criticized White House officials for urging Lincoln to pull back on a bipartisan deal on the issue.

In a statement, Lincoln called her proposal “historic reform,” and said it “will vigorously reform unregulated markets, close all loopholes, and protect jobs on Main Street.”

In a letter to Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.) and GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Lincoln detailed more stringent reporting requirements for the derivatives market that would be included in her bill.

The Agriculture panel has jurisdiction over the derivatives market, although its legislation in that area likely will be attached eventually to a broader bill overhauling the financial services industry being pushed by Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

Republicans on Tuesday pepped up their rhetoric against Dodd’s bill, arguing that it does not end the notion of banks being “too big to fail,” and complaining that the White House was politicizing the issue. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reaffirmed Tuesday his goal of passing financial regulatory reform legislation before the Memorial Day break.