A few days ago, incoming Agriculture Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) announced the hire of Ryan McKee as the senior staffer to oversee the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. McKee is currently a lobbyist working for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s division dedicated to deregulating complex derivatives products. In her new role working for Lucas, McKee will be liaising with regulators in charge of implementing new rules under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law to overhaul the over-the-counter derivatives market.
As ThinkProgress reported, the Chamber, which is funded by AIG, JP Morgan, CitiGroup, and other financial interests, took the lead role in fighting to defeat Wall Street reform efforts. Last year, the Chamber organized a conference call with other financial industry lobby groups and bank lobbyists to coordinate their efforts. As Tim Fernholz reported, McKee made clear that she was fighting to “kill” financial reform:
“We want to make sure that we hold all the Republicans and are able to influence enough Democrats to have a working majority to kill this thing outright or modify it to the point where it’s palatable to the business community,” Jason Matthews, the Chamber’s director of congressional affairs, told the callers. Ryan McKee, a senior director at the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets, was even more direct in response to a question from an caller: “We’re fundamentally trying to kill this,” she said.
To undermine the new rules created by the Dodd-Frank law, the Chamber recently launched a new website dedicated to smearing the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
The Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo has noted that Lucas and other Republicans on the Ag Committee have already signaled that they will seek to delay implementation of new derivatives regulations. Republicans raised eyebrows recently by proclaiming that they intend to “serve the banks” rather than regulate them. By hiring bank lobbyists like McKee to oversee reform, it’s clear Republicans plan on fulfilling that promise to undermine reform.