The New York Times says it’s just a coincidence that the SEC filed the civil suit against Goldman Sachs while the Senate Agriculture Committee was hammering out a bill opposed by most Republicans. In their article they say:
“We beat back a lot of Wall Street lobbyists,” exulted Michael S. Barr, an assistant Treasury secretary, after the Senate Agriculture Committee voted on Wednesday to approve a bill far tougher than had seemed possible only a few weeks ago.
It was expected that the committee, with a history of bipartisanship and a chairwoman, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who faces a difficult re-election campaign this year, would put together something mild that would dilute the tougher provisions in Senate Finance Committee’s version of the legislation.
Instead, negotiations broke down, and last Friday — before the suit against Goldman Sachs was announced — Senator Lincoln unveiled her own bill, which went beyond what the finance committee wanted.
One Republican complained:
“The events of the past five days have fueled legitimate suspicion on the part of the American people that the commission has attempted to assist the White House, the Democratic Party and Congressional Democrats by timing the suit to coincide with the Senate’s consideration of financial regulatory legislation,” Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, wrote in a letter to Mary L. Schapiro, the S.E.C. chairwoman.