Sen. Shelby: Time has come to tweak Dodd-Frank

In the two and a half years since Dodd-Frank was enacted, Democrats have staunchly refused to make any changes for fear that Republicans would use technical changes to gut the law. 

But Shelby said he hopes the time has finally come for some sensible fixes.

"Dodd-Frank supporters have resisted any changes for over two years,” he said.  “Certainly we can agree to correct purely technical errors.”

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Some Democrats, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), have said they would be willing to consider technical corrections to the law. Shelby's first, 53-page measure aims at addressing a range of typos and drafting errors.

The second bill from Shelby would mandate that regulators apply strict economic analysis to the raft of new regulations, and prevent rules from being enacted when the costs are found to outweigh the benefits. The bill would also require regulators to develop plans to streamline their regulations to maximize efficiency.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another fierce critic of Dodd-Frank, has endorsed the legislation.

"If a regulation’s costs outweigh its benefits, it should be thrown out," Shelby said. "By providing a clear, rigorous and consistent process for regulators in making that determination, this legislation will eliminate unnecessary burdens on our economy."

A spokesman for Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said it did not appear that Shelby's bills were sufficiently bipartisan to merit committee consideration, pouring cold water on their chances.

"Chairman Johnson has said that he is only interested in bills with broad bipartisan consensus that seek to improve Wall Street Reform to better protect consumers and strengthen our financial system," said spokesman Sean Oblack. "It is not clear that these two bills from last Congress accomplish that goal.”

This post updated at 4:36 pm.

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