A leading House Republican on Tuesday said the Dodd-Frank financial reform law needs to be improved, not repealed.
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) pushed back against calls for repeal of the law, as well as wholesale support of all of its parts. Rather, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee argued that the law is here to stay — but that does not mean it can't be improved.
"I am not here to tell you that we need to repeal Dodd-Frank," he said at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "But I am here to tell you that we need to make some changes.
"The truth is that financial reform is not a black-and-white, support-or-repeal issue. I think that rhetoric does more harm than good," he added.
"Any efforts to urge regulators to consider the economic costs of the new regulations is cast as an attack on Dodd-Frank, aimed at its repeal," he said. "Enough already."
His comments came one day after President Obama said he would challenge any GOP efforts to undermine the law.
"I will fight any efforts to repeal or undermine the important changes that we passed," Obama said at an event announcing the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is an agency created under Dodd-Frank that has had its current structure challenged by GOP legislation.
To that end, Lucas said more legislation will be coming from the Agriculture Committee, bills that sound like they would delay certain provisions of Dodd-Frank.
"They are designed to ensure that regulators don't keep rushing forward without regard for America's farmers, ranchers and Main Street businesses," he said. "And they help ensure that these regulations don't damage our competitiveness or limit economic growth."
Lucas's take on the law is particularly relevant because his committee has jurisdiction over financial derivatives — the complex financial tool widely blamed for exacerbating the financial crisis and placed under additional regulations under the reform law.