Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank

Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank
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Republicans and a block of moderate Democrats advanced on Tuesday significant proposed changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Senate Banking Committee approved by a 16 to 7 vote a sweeping bill that would exempt dozens of banks from Dodd-Frank and loosen the rules imposed after the financial crisis on smaller firms.

Banking panel members from both parties sought to strike a bipartisan deal that would win the approval of both Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (R-Idaho) and ranking member Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices could offer a way forward in fight against mushrooming costs MORE (Ohio).

After talks between Crapo and Brown collapsed in October, Crapo and the committee’s Republicans joined with nine Democrats to sponsor the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

The bill would raise the asset threshold at which a bank holding company is considered a “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) from $50 billion to $250 billion, and exempt all banks with less than $100 billion in assets from federal stress tests immediately.

Democrats sponsoring the bill include Banking Committee members Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (N.D.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race MORE (Mont.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerRussians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit Top Senate Dem: Trump administration's lack of focus on election security an 'embarrassment' Dem senator: We need other Americans in the room with Trump, Putin MORE (Va.), along with Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Analysis: Dark money groups have funded 44 percent of 2018 congressional ads Beto O'Rourke is dominating Ted Cruz in enthusiasm and fundraising — but he's still headed for defeat MORE (Mo.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Green Day's 'American Idiot' climbs UK charts ahead of Trump visit MORE (Va.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersDem senator: Kavanaugh sides with 'wealthiest special interests' Judge on Trump shortlist boasts stint on Michigan's high court NTSB won't investigate Tesla that crashed into parked police car MORE (Mich.), and independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingHillicon Valley: Hacker tried to sell military docs on dark web | Facebook fined over Cambridge Analytica | US closer to lifting ZTE ban | Trump, Obama lose followers in Twitter purge | DOJ weighs appeal on AT&T merger Senators press federal election officials on state cybersecurity 'Paws for Celebration' event brings rescue animals to the Capitol MORE (Maine). Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperNew EPA chief draws sharp contrast to Pruitt Overnight Energy: New EPA head looks to reassure staff | New round of ex-Pruitt staffers leave | House votes to overhaul fisheries law | Trump rips Germany for pipeline deal with Russia Dems grasp for way to stop Trump's Supreme Court pick MORE and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin Sunday shows preview: Washington braces for Trump's Supreme Court pick America stands to lose as China places bets on developing world MORE (D-Del.) said Tuesday they will also support the bill.

The deal has enough support to overcome a Democratic filibuster, and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on tariffs | Fed chief lays out stakes of Trump trade war | Consumer prices rise at highest rate in six years | Feds to appeal AT&T merger ruling Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on Trump tariffs MORE (R-Texas) said he’s willing to work with Crapo on a version that could pass the lower chamber.

But the bill is based on a fragile bipartisan balance. The coalition consists of Republicans eager to make whatever rollbacks they can to Dodd-Frank and moderate Democrats up running for reelection in states that supported President Trump in 2016.

Both groups say they’re eager to pare back what they call Dodd-Frank’s excessive burdens on smaller banks while proving to the fractured United States that productive compromise is possible.

A group of liberal Democrats opposed to the bill, including Brown, offered a slew of amendments that the sponsoring coalition voted down.

They offered amendments intended to relieve student loan defaulters, target relief for smaller banks, hold credit reporting agencies to tighter standards and bolster protections for military members abroad.

While some of the Democratic amendments to tighten Dodd-Frank’s oversight of major banks won’t see action, Crapo said several of the defeated amendments could be added to the bill later with changes that would keep the bill passable.

“The bill we are marking up today is the product of a thorough, robust process, and honest, bipartisan negotiations,” Crapo said.

“All of the sponsors have worked in good faith to include provisions from those who have offered them, including those who do not support the bill. And we will continue to do so after this markup.”

Brown said he hoped he would have been able to strike a deal with Crapo, but that the bill rolls back too many critical Dodd-Frank rules that underpin financial stability. He also expressed concerns that Trump’s nominees to federal regulators would take advantage of looser rules and threaten the economy with lax oversight.

“I support providing some relief to small banks and credit unions, but I think this bill unwisely chooses to do so by rolling back protections for people from the very activities that led to the crisis,” Brown said.

“There’s nothing to help people with record-high levels of student loan debt; nothing to help those with underwater mortgages; and nothing to help workers who are struggling to get by.”

Liberals claimed the bill was little more than a wish list for bank lobbyists meant to boost a financial sector already reaping record profits. 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments Midterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters MORE (D-Mass.) said she was “disturbed” that her colleagues would consider rolling back financial rules amid the series of scandals exposed at banks such as Wells Fargo.

She, along with Brown, Democratic Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDems rip Trump DOJ nominee who represented Russian bank The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Expensive and brutal: Inside the Supreme Court fight ahead Dem senator: No argument will 'lay bare' GOP's hypocrisy on Supreme Court MORE (Hawaii), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites Senate passes resolution honoring victims of Capital Gazette shooting MORE (Md.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one Schumer: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin Senate votes to support NATO ahead of Trump summit MORE (R.I.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezCNN anchors break into laughter over comedian's alleged prank call to Trump Comedian claims he tricked Trump while impersonating Dem senator Schumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms MORE (N.J.) opposed the bill and supported several failed Democratic amendments.

Moderate Democrats backing the bill fiercely defended the deal and the means through which it was negotiated. They insisted that the bill would provide meaningful regulatory relief for small, rural banks and credit unions that were facing record levels of consolidation.

“This is going to allow working families to get loans and buy homes,” said Tester, who is up for reelection in 2018 in a state Trump won handily.

“I guarantee you that without this bill the only people that we would be empowering are the big banks.”

Heitkamp, also facing a tight reelection next year, said: “There’s not everything that I would want if I could write this bill and force you all the vote for it.”

But “what people are going to see from this committee room is that this body can function,” Heitkamp added. “That’s something this country desperately needs.”