GOP Focuses on Single Word in Financial Reform Fight
And the bill's offending word is: 'significantly'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2010 9:17 AM CDT
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., right, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walk to the Senate floor after leaving a Republican Caucus on Capitol Hill, April 28, 2010.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – Republicans have found another reason to oppose financial reform: They claim it will impose regulations on dentists, florists, and plenty of other small businesses, all because of a single word: “significantly.” The Senate bill states that the Consumer Protection Agency will only regulate those who provide significant consumer financial products. But it doesn't define what's significant, Republicans argue, meaning it could apply to financing small businesses provide their customers.

The argument comes straight from a Chamber of Commerce talking point, Politico reveals. Democrats are willing to better define the word—Chris Dodd worked with Olympia Snowe on an amendment that should clear things up—but find the whole kerfuffle disingenuous. “I realize the word 'significantly' is what people want to work on, and I am willing to listen,” said Dodd. “But don't make me debate completely false allegations about what is in the bill.”