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Rating:Baker Bill Creates Strange Bedfellows Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, July 10, 2003

Baker Bill Creates Strange Bedfellows

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Who would have thought that consumer interest groups would be aligning themselves with Republicans and industry lobbyists would call Democrats allies? Take a look around Capital Hill and you may see that happening.

While the fund industry is quietly sitting on the sidelines hoping that the Baker bill goes away, some advocacy groups are lining up in favor of it. Among the groups throwing their support behind the bill (H.R. 2420) are Consumers Action, the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union, reports Dow Jones Newswires. Meanwhile, the ICI is apparently hoping to encourage Congress to tweak the details of the bill rather than openly oppose its passage.

The consumer groups are seeking passage of the bill because they fear that without legislation the SEC will not push reforms, according to the report.

The alignment of interested parties takes place as the House Capital Markets Subcommittee is taking up the bill today. Meanwhile, the Senate still has no version of the bill, nor is one planned, meaning that even if legislation passes the House it may not make it into law this year.

The fund industry may also be able to count Democrats as allies in this battle on Capital Hill. Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-Pennsylvania), the senior minority party member on the subcommittee is thought to be readying alternative language that would only require one-third of a fund board members be independent, rather than the half called for in Baker's bill.  

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