House Republicans unveiled five bills Monday night that each seek to repeal or weaken the Wall Street reform bill moved by the Democratic Congress last year.
The bills stop short of a sweeping rollback of some of the Dodd-Frank law's major provisions, but still represent the first concerted effort from the new Republican majority to change the law directly. The provisions targeted are those that the GOP argues are some of the measure's most partisan and restrictive elements.
The five bills were introduced by Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, and will be discussed at a Wednesday hearing of the panel's Capital Markets subcommittee.
To date, Republicans have tried to stifle the law indirectly by proposing smaller budgets for federal agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is charged with writing rules to implement and enforce the law. The spending package for the current fiscal year approved by the GOP House would reduce the SEC's budget to $1.069 billion from its current $1.118 billion level, even as the White House is pushing to have the SEC budget increased.
One of the bills being pushed would increase the small-business exemption from SEC registrations to $50 million from $5 million. Another would exempt advisers to private equity funds from SEC registration.
Another bill would repeal a Dodd-Frank provision that would require publicly traded companies to disclose their median annual total compensation for employees, as Republicans argued it would be burdensome with little public benefit.
Republicans are pursuing a different strategy with the Wall Street reform bill than with healthcare reform, which the House voted to repeal in January.
A similar effort to take down the entire Wall Street reform has failed to gain traction. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) introduced a repeal bill in the first days of the 112th Congress, but it has languished.