Senate Banking Committee considers Dodd-Frank rollback

The Senate Banking Committee is considering a bill that would gut the Dodd-Frank Act.

On Tuesday, the committee began markup of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. The legislation would repeal or severely curtail key parts of the Dodd-Frank act.

The latest attempt to roll back Dodd-Frank is sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Unlike the House’s Financial CHOICE Act – which was reviled by Democrats and died after being sent to the Senate – the new legislation is co-sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans.

Not all Democrats are happy about the bill, though. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the banking committee, said the bill was a gift to powerful financial interests at the expense of everyday Americans.

“It’s Christmas for the C-suite, and crumbs for the Cratchits,” Brown said Tuesday.

He said that although the bill made “a number of small changes for consumers,” it ultimately decreased consumer protection.

“There’s nothing to help people with record-high levels of student-loan debt, nothing to help those with underwater mortgages, and nothing to help workers who are struggling to get by,” Brown said. “…This bill claims to promote economic growth, regulatory relief and consumer protection. As Meat Loaf tells us, ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.’ But this bill doesn’t even meet the Meat Loaf minimum.”

But the bill has gained broad support from industry groups. The Independent Community Bankers of America has expressed strong support for the legislation, which it said “would provide community banks with relief from excessive and unnecessary regulatory burdens that impede their ability to meet the needs of their customers and communities.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association has also applauded the legislation – particularly parts of the bill that would mandate greater clarity from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on its rules.

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