Friday, November 20, 2009

Black Caucus Stalls Barney Frank's Finance Overhaul

Don't worry. The Congressional Black Caucus didn't become smarter by being fiscal hawks demanding sensible solutions. Led by Maxine Waters, they were pissed off more money America doesn't have wasn't being passed around.

In one of the clearest examples of how the weak economy is overtaking Obama administration priorities, the Congressional Black Caucus forced the House to shelve its revamp of financial-sector regulation for two weeks.

According to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.), members of the caucus revolted on the grounds that their constituencies weren't allowed sufficient participation in Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. programs, such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or FDIC oversight of failed bank assets.

They also complained more broadly that the administration wasn't doing enough to create jobs for low-income people or preserve minority-owned institutions such as radio stations, lending companies and jobs programs, a person familiar with the issue said.

There are 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Mr. Frank's committee, and their promised bloc vote against the bill could have torpedoed it.

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