Blue Dogs Offer Own Spin on Finance Reform

Float alternative to Obama's financial protection agency
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 1:40 PM CDT
In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, Walt Minnick, Idaho Representative-elect responds to questions in downtown Boise, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Charlie Litchfield, File)
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(Newser) – Blue Dogs are digging in against the idea of creating a “consumer financial protection agency,” a key provision in Barack Obama’s financial regulatory reform plan, Politico reports. Instead, they want existing regulators to collaborate by way of a “consumer financial protection council.” “We’re trying to come up with something that will achieve the objectives of the White House, without creating a new standalone federal regulator,” says Rep. Walt Minnick.

Community bankers have warned that another level of regulation could ruin them, and Minnick says his council would handle the job of ensuring that consumer financial products—including those offered by traditionally unregulated institutions like mortgage lenders—are safe and sensible. “We’re punishing our independent community banks, and they’re really not the ones who got us into this mess,” says one Blue Dog chief of staff. “I expect we will be supporting wholeheartedly the Minnick alternative.”