EXETER, N.H. - Texas Governor Rick Perry has telephoned influential Republicans in early-voting New Hampshire and Iowa in recent days as he weighs whether to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
“He was looking for my thoughts in terms of what the presidential field looked like and what might happen if someone came in and shook things up a little bit,’’ New Hampshire Senate President Peter Bragdon said yesterday after receiving a weekend voice mail message from Perry. “It certainly left me with the impression that he’s doing his homework and giving it some serious consideration.’’
The conservative Texan also called several GOP leaders in Iowa, which will hold the first contest in next year’s GOP presidential race. Among those contacted, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds said Perry left a message for her but didn’t indicate whether he planned to run.
“He looked forward to the opportunity to have a face-to-face and talk about great things that could happen in Iowa as well as the nation,’’ Reynolds said. “He just said he looked forward to seeing me soon.’’
Perry’s efforts to reach out to Republican officeholders in both states come as polls suggest Republican primary voters in early voting states and elsewhere are generally underwhelmed by the current slate of candidates.
The field is largely set, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney - who lost the nomination to John McCain in 2008 - ahead in most early surveys. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee, and Perry are the only two major question marks.
Perry, Texas’s longest-serving governor, had spent months saying that he would not seek the nomination. He reversed course several weeks ago and has been openly considering a bid.
New Hampshire conservative leader and former Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne said he spoke to Perry “for the better part of half an hour’’ on Saturday.
“I told him that I think this is a wide-open race. While there are some good candidates out there, I think folks are still looking,’’ said Lamontagne, who hasn’t committed to a candidate. — ASSOCIATED PRESS
Frank says financial reform law will endure challenges
WASHINGTON - The law reshaping the financial system has stood up well to the challenges and criticisms it’s faced in its first year of existence, Representative Barney Frank said.
“I believe that the year’s study, examination, criticism, advocacy, et cetera, leaves this legislation holding up very well,’’ Frank, a Newton Democrat and coauthor of the financial overhaul law, said yesterday in remarks at the National Press Club in Washington. “There have been very few calls for any substantial amendment on the part of the financial services community.’’
With the Dodd-Frank Act nearing its one-year anniversary, debate continues inside federal agencies and on Capitol Hill over its final shape. The law, which was enacted July 21, 2010, requires regulators to craft and implement hundreds of new rules that will govern much of the US financial system, including the derivatives market and consumer finance.
Frank, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said the law provides regulators a set of principles while giving them the flexibility they need to write the rules.
House Republicans, who took power in the House after the November elections, have pushed multiple bills to reshape or repeal provisions in the law. Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, an Alabama Republican, is leading Republicans who almost unanimously opposed the law last year.
The lawmakers have introduced a slate of bills to change or repeal provisions in the law - including restricting the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - that Republicans say extend regulation too far.
“The Dodd-Frank Act is a roadblock to our nation’s recovery,’’ Bachus said in a statement. “When you add the mountain of 400 new regulations required by Dodd-Frank to those of Obamacare, plus the threat of higher taxes caused by Washington’s spending spree, you get an astounding level of apprehension and uncertainty among job creators.’’
Frank said Republicans were “bluffing’’ in their efforts to reshape or repeal parts of the law.
“My Republican colleagues, unlike climate change and health care, don’t want to take this one head-on because it is still too popular,’’ Frank said. “Coming to the defense of unrestricted derivative trading is not a popular cause.’’
Frank said that after the subprime mortgage crisis, new rules that make changes to the current market are necessary.
“It’s disruptive because we had to disrupt a rotten system,’’ Frank said. “We had to disrupt a system that collapsed.’’ — BLOOMBERG
Obama issues order to streamline regulations
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is expanding its effort to rid the government of burdensome or redundant regulations.
President Obama issued an executive order yesterday calling on independent agencies to make a plan for reviewing regulations that could be streamlined, expanded, or repealed. The goals are to save money, allow agencies to operate more efficiently, and ease burdens on business.
Obama ordered executive agencies - those run by a Cabinet secretary - to do the same in January.
The order is not binding, though the administration says it expects independent agencies to comply.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Transportation Safety Board are among the agencies covered by the order. — ASSOCIATED PRESS