Working Draft of Compromise Reform Bill Is Released

A detailed outline of the House-Senate compromise bill on financial reform contains 12 major sections and spans almost 2000 pages.

Columns and steps
Columns and steps

A copy of what's called the "base bill' version of the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010’’ was released Thursday.

The six-and-a-half dozen conferees will work from this version, adding amendments as need, desire and votes permit, before the compromise bill is voted on by the full Senate and House.

The conference kicks off at 2:15 p.m. ET Thursday with opening statement from the members. Each of the 78 get five minutes. The conference is chaired by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), but Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is also expected to play a key role, as he is the principal author of the Senate bill.

The bill covers all the major components of the individual Senate and House bills, as well as some new areas, but does not provide the same kind of detail. (See a rundown of key differences here.)

A proposal by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark. to force the major financial firms to form separately-capitalized swaps in said to be included in the bill but does appear to be listed as such.

It's unclear if the conferees will take up issues in the order of the base bill, but the highly controversial area of derivatives is likely to be last, according to one Congressional source familiar with he conversations.

"We will take different issues on different days," said Steve Adamaske, Frank's senior committee aide, who said details of the schedule were forthcoming, while warning some issues might carry over from one day to the next.

  • Read The Bill Here

Resolution authority for too-big-to-fail firms is the first title, or section, in the bill. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is tenth, while regulation of over-the-counter derivatives is seventh on the list. Mortgage reform--including an anti-predatory lending act--is 14th.

Discussion, or consideration, of the bill will start next Tuesday, with members present through Thursday, Staff will continue to work on the bill in their absence. Conferees will return Tuesday, June 22 and work every day until the bill is done, according to Adamske.

The goal is to have a bill approved by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Obama by the Independence Day holiday weekend.

The final list of conference members was released late Wednesday.

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