What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : S 3217. (Overhaul of financial regulations) Grassley of Iowa amendment that would prohibit the president from appointing inspectors general for the Federal Reserve, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, National Credit Union Association, Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation and Securities and Exchange Commission/On agreeing to the amendment (2010 senate Roll Call 157)
 Who: All Members
[POW!]
 

To find out how your Members of Congress voted on this bill, use the form on the right.

S 3217. (Overhaul of financial regulations) Grassley of Iowa amendment that would prohibit the president from appointing inspectors general for the Federal Reserve, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, National Credit Union Association, Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation and Securities and Exchange Commission/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 157     May 18, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
Yes

This vote was on an amendment by Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that would have removed language from a financial regulations overhaul bill allowing the president to appoint inspectors general for the Federal Reserve, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, National Credit Union Association, Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation and Securities and Exchange Commission.  Currently these agencies’ inspectors general are appointed by the agencies themselves. The amendment was offered to a bill that aims to close gaps in financial regulations, strengthen oversight of consumer lending and more closely oversee complex financial investments.

Grassley said shifting the authority to appoint from agencies to the president could “introduce politics into what have traditionally been career, nonpolitical positions.”

Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said it is preferable to allow the president to appoint inspectors general at those agencies because they would be subject to confirmation by the Senate, unlike those appointed by the agencies themselves.

“Look, if I am the head of an agency and I am going to put in the cop on the beat who is going to supervise me, the inclination is to pick someone who is going to give me a lot of flexibility at the end of the day,” Menendez said.  “I want a robust cop on the beat. The way I ensure there is a robust cop on the beat, in terms of the inspector general, is having a Presidentially appointed one, one confirmed by the Senate, to know that in fact this person is worthy of pursuing all of the actions of that particular agency in a robust way so they are independent of the agency, not appointed by the very head of the agency they are now going to supervise and review.”

By a vote of 75-21, the amendment was adopted.  Every Republican present voted for the amendment.  Of Democrats present, 35 voted for the amendment and 19 voted against it (including many of the most progressive members). The end result is that the measure went forward with language that would have prohibited the president from appointing inspectors general at several financial regulatory agencies, and instead allow those agencies to continue appointing their own inspectors general.

Issue Areas:

Find your Member of
Congress' votes

Select by Name