The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill has passed the House by 237 to 192 margin. It now will go to the Senate where it is expected to pass. But, the bill is, as usual, full of stuff that doesn’t pertain specifically to financial reform. California Democrat, Maxine Waters, sponsored a provision titled, “Inclusion of Minorities and Women: Diversity in Agency Workforce.” The federal government, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), currently monitors hiring practices. To say that Waters’ amendment is redundant is an understatement. More federal employees, more headaches for business, more taxpayer waste! It is also puzzling why the same politicians who rail against “racial profiling” in immigration would turn immediately to create a bill that would ensure racial, ethnic, and gender specificity in the federal financial agencies.
It goes deeper than just equal opportunity. The provision would create a network of operatives responsible for making the hiring of and lending to minorities the highest priority. Moreover, the czars would be charged with increasing the participation of minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses in projects and contracts. Congress has now decided to regulate credit by race and gender.
Furthermore, the Diversity Czar would be responsible for counting the number of minority and female employees at regional banks and investment firms, big and small. The bill would also mandate that federal regulators hire from certain types of minority groups, women-only colleges and universities, advertise in minority- and women-focused publications, etc.
Is there no bounds to the controls that the government will put on the American business? And, there are probably other amendments that are even more onerous stuck in the provisions of this sweeping bill. If Dodd and Frank are the authors, you know there are lots of surprises! Let’s hope the Senate has the good sense to strip this provision out of the bill….and pass true financial reform. But, I am not holding my breath!