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How GOP bill would dismantle many Dodd-Frank restrictions

21 Juin 2017

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved Republican-backed legislation that would rollback numerous consumer protections and financial regulations codified in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

The House passed a bill Thursday that would repeal significant parts of Dodd-Frank and make substantial changes to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau.

Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, said in a speech on the House floor that the conventional wisdom believes the Choice Act has little chance of passing the Senate.

While across Capitol Hill on Thursday the Senate was drawing attention for its hearing with James Comey, the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director, the House passed a bill to roll back some of the strongest Wall Street regulations from the financial crisis.

Rep. Cook said, "The Financial Choice Act of 2017 holds Wall Street accountable while empowering Main Street".

It also would abolish the Volcker rule, which prohibits banks from engaging in proprietary trading.

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"The CHOICE Act reins in Dodd-Frank and delivers the regulatory relief these banks so desperately need", House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a speech on the House floor on Thursday. Enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and created to prevent another meltdown, Dodd-Frank has been a Republican target since it was signed into law seven years ago.

"It is bad for consumers, it is bad for investors, and it's bad for the stability of the American economy - which is bad for all of us", said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. It also would eliminate the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, which requires brokers to act in the best interest of clients when providing advice about retirement. The consolidation trend, however, far precedes Dodd-Frank.

Surprisingly, one of Dodd-Franks biggest proponents, Barney Frank, for whom the law is named, agreed that a particular aspect of the legislation was in fact over-burdensome; it's effect on small community banks. "In the House, we just threw it off", said Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the lead author of the bill.

Lance added that those who have lost the most under Dodd-Frank are those who can't afford to take their business elsewhere. "If it were to be passed by the Senate and become law, this bill would make future financial crises more likely and more damaging".

Exempt large banks with high cash levels from Dodd-Frank's liquidity requirements. That's the landmark banking law created to prevent meltdowns like the 2008 economic crisis.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the "Financial CHOICE Act" will reduce the federal deficit by $33.6 billion through 2027.