Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a lot on his mind. It’s less than two weeks before the August 2 deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling, past which the Treasury has said the U.S. will begin to default on its obligations. It’s the eve of the one-year anniversary of a financial reform bill that is at risk of being dismantled.
And Geithner won’t have it.
Geithner vowed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday to recommend that the president veto any legislation passed by Congress that would weaken the 2,000-plus page Dodd-Frank Act.
The Dodd-Frank law, which passed with just six Republican votes, faces criticism for missed deadlines, haphazard implementation, and creating uncertainty for businesses and investors. There are two dozen bills in Congress that aim to dismantle parts of the law, and Senate Republicans have refused to consider nominations for posts at some of the regulatory agencies the law oversees.
“Many of those who fought reform during the legislative practice are now trying to slow down and weaken rules, starve regulatory agencies of resources, and block nominations so that they can ultimately kill reform,” Geithner wrote.
“We will not let that happen,” he said.
Geithner said the U.S. financial system is in “much stronger shape” today by nearly every measure-- and not just compared to the crisis, but also to pre-crisis financial conditions.
He addressed charges of Dodd-Frank's uneven implementation. “Because this is complicated work, and because it entails extensive coordination with multiple agencies around the world, some rules are being written more quickly than others. Where we need more time to get the substance right, we will take the time we need,” he wrote.
President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank bill one year ago Thursday.