Republicans - And Some Democrats! - Push Banking Deregulation

There’s nothing to fear about modest banking reform

Republican, Democrat senators look to rewrite Elizabeth Warren's history

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the stage for a vote on one of the biggest rewrites of financial industry rules since the Dodd-Frank Act was passed almost eight years ago.

Even though the banks said that they support the bill, they noted they would prefer to scrap the asset threshold altogether and instead allow the Federal Reserve Board to designate banks as systemically important by using its own measurement of riskiness. The bill attempted to shift the burden of major financial mistakes from taxpayers to market participants, ensuring those who partake in risky investment practices would bear the financial burden of their mistakes. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, is one of its more outspoken critics, calling it the #BankLobbyistAct on Twitter.

President Donald Trump has promised for more than a year to give banks relief from the Dodd-Frank Act. The senator sent an email to her constituents Friday lambasting her Republican and Democratic colleagues for backing the bill, claiming they are selling out to industry lobbyists and bankers.

While the legislation contains a few consumer-friendly provisions - such as the right to a free credit freeze - Gelzinis said they're "crumbs compared with the benefits seen by the largest financial institutions". Opponents of the bill say numerous banks that will benefit from the bill also got government bailouts and that the looser regulations will once again encourage excessive risk-taking that could end up costing taxpayers.

All Republicans voting supported the bill, and four Democrats voted to open debate in addition to the co-sponsors: Sens.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the legislation could increase the chances of another bank bailout. "We must not intentionally blind regulators to these risks in advance". Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. The language in the bill now says "the Fed shall tailor the rules for the biggest banks", instead of may.

The Senate voted 67-32 in favor of starting debate on S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to grow the economy and protect consumers that was negotiated in part by Sen. The rules would make it easier for big banks to buy municipal bonds, the Wall Street Journal noted.

"I'm very anxious about the consolidation of the banking industry in Virginia", said Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016 and who describes himself as a "huge" supporter of Dodd-Frank.

Warner acknowledged the division in the Democratic caucus but expressed optimism the party could work through changes to improve the bill.

She was joined in her rebuke of the legislation by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who said in a statement: "Now is not the time to deregulate banks that have more than $3.5tn in assets and lay the groundwork for another massive financial collapse". It would also exempt American operations of big foreign banks, like Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Banco Santander.

The bill "would weaken the financial system safeguards and taxpayer and consumer protections put in place in the wake of the financial crisis, exposing American taxpayers, our financial system, and our economy to significant risk", Angelides said.

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