In the last week, Senator Chris Dodd has started to make some noise on issues that will be of interest to Connecticut voters in 2010. First, Senator Dodd reintroduced the Credit CARD Act, citing Connecticut’s third ranking in terms of median credit card debt (#50 would be good, #1 bad):
[Meta-aside: The Dodd staff seems to “get” technology better than most of the other Congressional offices, utilizing Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and blogging, so understand that I criticize hesitantly, preferring to complement a staff that is using technology well. That said, the backlighting in this video makes the Senator look like he is broadcasting from the batcave. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing. Any youth basketball coaches out there will recognize a Wooten criticism sandwich. /meta]
The Credit CARD Act will help protect American consumers by bringing an end to wrongful credit card practices. Among other provisions, the legislation will:
* Protect consumers from any-time, any reason interest rate increases and account changes;
* Prohibit unfair application of card payments;
* Protect cardholders who pay on time;
* Limit fees and penalties;
* Ensure that cardholders are informed of the terms of their account; and
* Protect young consumers from credit card solicitations.
Second, Senator Dodd seems to have been intimately involved in adding an executive compensation restriction string onto the TARP2 legislation and going further than the administration wanted to go towards reining in compensation at companies that take public bailout money. From the NYT:
A provision buried deep inside the $787 billion economic stimulus bill would impose restrictions on executive bonuses at financial institutions that are much tougher than those proposed 10 days ago by the Treasury Department.
It would prohibit cash bonuses and almost all other incentive compensation for the five most senior officers and the 20 highest-paid executives at large companies that receive money under the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
The provision, written by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, highlighted the growing wrath among lawmakers and voters over the lavish compensation that top Wall Street firms and big banks awarded to senior executives at the same time that many of the companies, teetering on the brink of insolvency, received taxpayer-paid bailouts.
“The decisions of certain Wall Street executives to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers have seriously undermined public confidence,” Mr. Dodd said Friday. “These tough new rules will help ensure that taxpayer dollars no longer effectively subsidize lavish Wall Street bonuses.”
Here is Senator Dodd on the floor talking about the provision (4:20 in):