The Corner

Obama Admin Has Missed Over 60 Percent of Dodd-Frank Deadlines

A Congressional Research Service report this week revealed that the Obama administration has missed precisely 50 percent of its deadlines in implementing Obamacare — and with the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, they’re doing even worse. More than half of the law’s 279 deadlines so far — 61.6 percent — have been missed by July 15, according to a new report.

The law firm DavisPolk has been publishing reports on Dodd-Frank’s progress for a while now, and they explain “the pace of rulemaking has been remarkably consistent over the past three years” — but it’s been consistently far behind the pace actually set by the law. Since the deadlines are dispersed, some months have been particularly rough — April 2011 saw regulators hit a serious cold streak, missing 26 deadlines that month.  Dodd-Frank requires a variety of federal agencies — the SEC, the Fed, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, etc. — to actually write the new financial-market rules that Congress merely outlined in the 2010 law. 

Three years after the law was passed, not even half of the law’s rules have been finalized:

Probably the best-known single regulation to come out of the law, the “Volcker Rule,” which will limit the trading banks can do with their own funds, has run into serious trouble, and has been continuously delayed. While the prospect of it has definitely curtailed banks’ own private investment activities, many commentators think the eventual rule will be quite ineffective.

President Obama spoke about the law publicly and met with regulators at the White House yesterday. As the Journal notes, in May Treasury Secretary Jack Lew explained to Congress that he had “stepped on the accelerator” for rule-making, and argued “this is a question of public trust in the government’s ability to implement important policy that it said it’s going to implement.”

Patrick Brennan was a senior communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration and is former opinion editor of National Review Online.


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