Senate Republicans are introducing legislation to repeal the Wall Street reform law in its entirety, breaking with House Republicans who have opted for a go-slow approach to rolling back the regulatory overhaul.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced Friday he will introduce legislation to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and said the bill has 18 co-sponsors, including the entire Senate Republican leadership.
"We must repeal the Democrats’ takeover of the financial markets that favors Wall Street corporations, over-regulates small businesses with massive new bureaucracy and hurts consumers,” said DeMint in a statement. “This financial takeover will strangle our economy and move jobs overseas unless it is repealed."
The bill has attracted a variety of Republican co-sponsors, ranging from the most senior members of the caucus to fiscally conservative freshmen.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Republican Conference Chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDemocratic frustration with Sinema rises Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation Democrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks MORE (R-S.D.) are all co-sponsors on the bill, along with newcomers Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCawthorn, Lee introduce bills banning interstate travel vaccine mandate Retreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE (R-Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Vaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention MORE (R-Ky.), according to DeMint's office.
The legislation represents newfound aggression towards the Wall Street reform law from Republicans. While the GOP has been critical of the law, citing concerns over excessive and burdensome regulations that they say could stifle economic growth, a big push to scrap the law completely has failed to materialize.
Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Minn.) introduced a similar repeal bill in the House on the first day of the 112th Congress, but it has failed to gain traction. Instead, House Republicans are pushing a package of smaller, targeted bills that would alter or repeal certain provisions of Dodd-Frank.
But now, DeMint is calling for the entire piece of legislation to be eliminated.
"If the Democrats were serious about financial reform that protects small businesses and consumers, they would join with Republicans to curb the power of the Federal Reserve, permanently end ‘too big to fail’ and wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," he said.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul Several hurt when truck runs into minimum wage protesters in Michigan MORE (D-S.D.) blasted the legislation Friday, saying it was proof Republicans wanted to repeat the events that led up to the financial crisis.
“If someone proposed a repeal of regulations on nuclear reactors today, they would be called crazy. But when it comes to the safety of our economy, Republicans apparently believe Americans were adequately protected during the financial crisis despite the fact that they lost millions of jobs, millions of homes and trillions of dollars in wealth," he said. "Efforts to tear down Wall Street reform, in part or in whole, are attempts to bring us back to the days of too big to fail banks, backroom derivatives deals, risky subprime mortgages, and the threat of economic collapse.”
The push to roll back Wall Street reform comes as several federal regulators are racing to write rules implementing its various provisions, and as the economy and financial markets have enjoyed a run of good news.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Thursday having recorded its best first quarter since 1998, despite turmoil in the Middle East rocking markets earlier in March.
And the Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.8 percent as the economy added 216,000 jobs, beating economist expectations. The jobless rate now stands at its lowest point in two years.
This post updated at 3:55 pm.