After Health Care, Obama Ready to Shift to Economy

"Be careful whose voice you listen to," Geithner said. "Listen less to those whose judgments brought us this crisis. Listen less to those who told us all they were the masters of noble financial innovation and sophisticated risk management. Listen less to those who complain about the burdens of living with smarter regulation or who oppose having to pay a fee for the costs of this or future crises.

Financial Reform Bill Passed by House, Waiting on Senate Action

"Instead, listen to the families and businesses still suffering from this crisis," he said. "Listen to those who borrowed responsibly, but today can't get a loan or refinance their mortgage. Listen to those who lost their jobs and their healthcare and their pension savings. Listen to them."

So for Americans who might have been paying more attention to health care reform than the financial regulatory push, where do we stand now?

The House already passed its reform measure late last year. Among other changes, the House bill would create a stand-alone consumer protection agency to fed off harmful industry practices involving mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products. The proposed agency has been the most controversial element of the reform push.

The Senate only just this week got its reform measure out of the Banking panel. Dodd's proposal, unveiled last week, does not go as far as the House bill. For instance, the consumer watchdog unit would be placed within the Federal Reserve. The proposal would also slash the Federal Reserve's oversight of smaller banks.

Despite Dodd's overtures to Republicans, his plan does not enjoy any GOP support. The Banking committee passed the measure along party lines, sending it on to the full Senate. If passed by the Senate, lawmakers would have to reconcile the differences between the two proposals.

It won't be easy. Republicans and the financial industry are fighting vigorously against the Democrats' efforts. Just last week, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio told a group of bankers in Washington not to get pushed around by some "punk staffers" on Capitol Hill.

Six months ago, Geithner warned lawmakers that "time is the enemy of reform." As the administration pivots back to the economy yet again, the clock is still ticking.

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