Trump transition vows to ‘dismantle’ Dodd-Frank

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team says the next administration will work to “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

A section devoted to financial regulations on his official transition website makes clear President Trump would work to undo President Obama’s landmark Wall Street regulation law.

{mosads}“Federal policy should focus on free enterprise, while protecting consumers by policing markets for force and fraud,” the website stated. “The Dodd-Frank economy does not work for working people.  Bureaucratic red tape and Washington mandates are not the answer.  The Financial Services Policy Implementation team will be working to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation.”

Trump had criticized Dodd-Frank on the campaign trial but never offered a specific plan for what he would want to do regarding financial regulation if he were elected. That has left many in the financial industry hoping, but not certain, that Trump would be an ally in helping to step back regulations.

Perhaps an early indication of the thinking in a Trump administration can be found in the fact that much of the language on the transition team’s website is strikingly similar to language offered by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

Hensarling, a vocal critic of Dodd-Frank, offered a broad financial regulation bill in this Congress, which many believe could serve as a blueprint for a Dodd-Frank overhaul in the next Congress.

And clearly the Trump transition is at least sympathetic to Hensarling’s message.

For example, the transition website blasts Dodd-Frank as a disaster for the economy.

“Yet now, six years later, the American people remain stuck in the slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery since the Great Depression. Paychecks have been stagnant. Savings are being depleted, millions are unemployed or underemployed,” the website reads.

In September, Hensarling delivered a nearly identical message when his panel considered his bill, the Financial CHOICE Act.

“It has been six years since the passage of Dodd-Frank. We were told it would lift our economy, but instead we are stuck in the slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery in the history of the Republic….They have seen their paychecks stagnate. They have seen their savings decimated. We have seen millions who remain unemployed and underemployed,” said Hensarling on Sept. 13.

Hensarling’s bill was passed by his committee down a roughly party-line vote, but did not gain any further traction. With Trump in the White House and Republicans retaining control of both chambers of Congress, that could change in 2017.

Trump’s website does not delve into specifics, either about what parts of Dodd-Frank will be targeted or what policies could be put in place to replace it. And specifically, one policy item not mentioned was a return of the Glass-Steagall Act. That law, repealed in the late 1990s, created a firewall between traditional banking and investment banking.

The official GOP policy platform called for a return of that law at the urging of the Trump campaign, even as a call for a return to that law is most frequently invoked by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

This post updated at 2:58 pm. 

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