Congressional Black Caucus balks at Obama financial overhaul

A House panel Wednesday approved major legislation aimed at overhauling the nation's financial regulatory system, but did it without the backing of members of the Congressional Back Caucus.

The House Financial Services Committee passed the Financial Stability Improvement Act by a vote of 31-27. Missing from the room were ten Democratic members of the CBC, who are angry with the administration for not doing enough to help reverse minority job loss.

“We cannot address system risk on a broad scale without taking steps to prevent the crumbling of our community's infrastructure,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said after the vote. “Since last September, we have continuously voted for bailouts and reform for the very institutions that created this devastation, without properly protecting the African American community, or small business.”

The bill is part of a legislative package addressing financial regulatory reform that is expected on the floor of the House as early as next week. Committee Chair Barney Frank, D-Mass., had already delayed the vote more than a week to try to get the CBC on board.

The bill that cleared Financial Services on Wednesday calls for the creation of an inter-agency oversight council that will monitor financial firms for actions that could put the nation's financial stability at risk and gives the government the power to shut down large failing financial institutions.

There are 41 House lawmakers in the CBC and they could block final passage of the bill if most Republicans vote against the measure.
Most likely, though, Democratic leaders and the White House will come up with some way to appease the CBC and win their support of financial regulatory overhaul, which is a top Obama priority.

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