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Obama agenda: Ditching the agency?

"The Obama administration is no longer insisting on the creation of a stand-alone consumer protection agency as a central element of the plan to remake regulation of the financial system," the Washington Post front-pages. "In hopes of quick congressional approval of a reform bill, White House officials are opening the door to compromise with lawmakers concerned about creating a new bureaucracy, according to congressional and some administration sources."

More: "President Obama's economic team is now open to housing the consumer regulator inside another agency, such as the Treasury Department, though they still prefer a stand-alone agency. In either case, they are insisting on a regulator with political autonomy and real teeth so it can effectively enforce rules designed to protect consumers of mortgages, credit cards and other financial products."

The Democratic-leaning group Americans United for Change is running a TV ad in Montana supporting Sen. Jon Tester's fight for financial reform. "We want to lend our support to Senator Tester who is standing up against a mounting campaign to prevent meaningful efforts in Congress to crack down on abusive big bank practices," the group said.

"Speaking to a group of corporate leaders, [Obama] defended his spending, tax and regulatory initiatives as the natural response to a historic economic crisis. Declaring himself an 'ardent believer in the free market,' Mr. Obama challenged a line of criticism that has fueled discontent with his presidency. The policies of his first year in office, he said, 'were about saving the economy from collapse, not about expanding government's reach into the economy.'"

"Vice President Joe Biden has been disclosing records and cooperating with federal agencies that Dick Cheney often rebuffed," The Hill writes. "Biden's actions are consistent with his comments on the campaign trail, where he criticized then-Vice President Cheney for not providing the information. And Biden seems to be putting an end to the George W. Bush administration's assertion that the vice president is not solely part of the executive branch… Many experts on the vice presidency believe it's a return to what has been standard practice for the office."