Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Rep. Smucker's amendment included in bill to change Dodd-Frank regulations

The vote in favour to pass the Choice Act took place on the same day that the former FBI director Mike Comey testified to the Senate about the circumstances of his firing and allegations he was pressured by Trump to drop the investigation into Russia's influence in the 2016 elections. Republicans have always been opposed to the Obama-era law and say that it stifles business growth by drowning banks in red tape. So far the bill has skated by on Republican support, so attaining the necessary 60 votes in the Senate is likely to be a challenge and could result in the addition of amendments that will water down much of the language.

Sewell continued, "Between the home foreclosures, rising unemployment, and the families whose dreams were stripped away to pay for Wall Street's mistakes, it is hard to forget".

"While Dodd-Frank can certainly be improved in some ways, the Choice Act actually just strips out the most important protections", Keith Mestrich, president of Amalgamated Bank, told FOX Business.

The legislation also reduces the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent agency set up under Dodd-Frank that has become ensnared in litigation over its scope and authority.

The bill coming up for a vote, the Financial Choice Act, has maintained a low profile compared with Republican plans on health care and taxes, but it represents a major part of an agenda the Republicans say will unshackle the economy and accelerate economic growth.

"We will make sure there is needed regulatory relief for our small banks and credit unions, because it's our small banks and credit unions that lend to our small businesses that are the jobs engine of our economy and make sure the American dream is not a pipe dream", Hensarling said in a statement on Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of OH, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees banking laws, said the proposal would gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million Americans who were cheated by shadowy debt collectors, for-profit schools, and payday lenders.

"This legislation comes to the rescue of Main Street America", said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during a press conference Wednesday morning.

The Senate Banking Committee's top Democrat, Sherrod Brown of OH, has struck a more critical tone.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last month that he was not optimistic about making changes to Dodd-Frank.

Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling introduced the measure April 26.

"Simply put, Dodd-Frank has failed", said Polk County Representative Dennis Ross. Other weaknesses he cited include eliminating the liquidation fund to unwind too big to fail banks and removing various designations used when determining the level of regulations banks will face.

House Republicans, meanwhile, believe Dodd Frank's regulations are stifling credit creation and impeding economic growth while placing undue regulatory burdens on institutions and preventing the efficient deployment of financial industry capital.

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