Beware of the Manager's amendment! Today it was announced Senators Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby are putting a manager's amendment into the Financial Reform bill currently before Congress.
Manager's amendments are notorious. They are often massive, no one gets to read them before a vote. Literally they can gut the very bill being crafted and voted on for months in a matter of seconds.
According to the Huffington Post, a number one corporate lobbyists' priority is being considered for the manager's amendment.
Senator Dodd seems lukewarm at best on the question of state authority and has refused to rule out including a version of Carper in his manager's amendment
The Carper amendment would block states from enforcing consumer protection laws.
To introduce a massive bill, under the guise of a manger's amendment, at the last minute, which no one has read, is common. When the financial reform bill was passed out of committee, Chris Dodd introduced a manger's amendment then, at the last minute.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank did the same thing.
So, while one might think there is a slight victory, don't be surprised to see more gutting behind closed doors, either through a manger's amendment or in conference committee.
Believe this or not, the manager's amendment will be crafted and introduced after cloture, the vote to stop debate and voting on other amendments to the bill.
...some proposals will be folded into the manager’s package
So, in other words, since this is an amendment negotiated between Senators Shelby and Dodd, it's completely
probable possible that all of the Bank lobbyists wish lists re-appear.
Two key amendments, one from Bryon Dorgan to ban naked credit default swaps and another from Maria Cantwell, to reinstate Glass-Steagall, are not being allowed to even come up for a vote. Both Senators have threatened to fillabuster.
That's right, Democrats are threatening to filibusterer the Democratic Congress and rightly so if they want to tackle some of the real reasons for the financial crisis.
A more fundamental impact, possibly forcing restructuring, could result from a provision that would force banks to split swap-trading desks from their core businesses. Analysts expected that this part of the bill, drafted by Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, would be dropped.
The Dodd/Shelby agreement is widely expected to strip out Lincoln's most controversial piece on derivatives: a provision that would bar banks from trading derivatives and would require them to divest their current holdings.
Gets worse. The press and blogs are reporting the Blanche Lincoln amendment, which was the strongest piece of legislation to date on derivatives, is all for show, to help her win her primary and once that's accomplished, out it goes. Gotta Love Democratic Senate leadership huh.
And you thought this was a representative democracy.