Gallego knocks Sinema over support of Dodd-Frank rollback
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) slammed Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) on Monday over her support for a 2018 law that rolled back Dodd-Frank banking regulations created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
“What’s the difference between Senator Sinema and me?” Gallego, who is running to replace Sinema in 2024, said in a news release. “When bank lobbyists asked me to weaken bank regulations, I said no. When they asked Senator Sinema, she asked how much—and voted yes. Now we are all going to pay for her mistake.”
Gallego’s camp is looking to make the issue a major point of contrast with Sinema in his campaign, according to a source familiar with their strategy.
“Kyrsten Sinema got the same info I did. In my mind, this is the most salient example of how we are different,” Gallego added in a tweet on Monday. “I voted for Arizonans, Sinema voted for Wall Street Bankers.”
The 2018 law, known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank over the weekend — the second- and third-largest bank failures in U.S. history.
President Biden on Monday called on Congress to strengthen regulations, specifically criticizing the rollback of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
“During the Obama-Biden administration, we put in place tough requirements on banks, like Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, including the Dodd-Frank law to make sure that the crisis we saw in 2008 would not happen again,” Biden said. “Unfortunately, the last administration rolled back some of these requirements.”
The law, which received support from Democrats in both the House and Senate, exempted Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank from stringent stress tests and capital requirements by raising the threshold for “systematically important” banks to those with more than $250 billion in assets. Both now-defunct banks lobbied aggressively in favor of the law.
Sinema’s office declined to comment on Gallego’s particular accusations, instead pointing to her recent statement on the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s joint response to the bank failures.
“The joint actions … make clear that depositors are protected and will have access to all of their money starting tomorrow, critical assurance to Arizona families and businesses,” Sinema said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday. “The federal government must now ensure those responsible are held accountable, while maintain stability for all Americans who rely on our banking system.”
Hanna Trudo contributed to this report.
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