President Trump all but ruled out a full repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act on Tuesday, as Republicans prepare to make major changes to the sweeping post-recession banking regulation law.
“We’re doing a major elimination of the horrendous Dodd-Frank regulations, keeping some obviously but getting rid of many,” Trump told reporters.
“The bankers in the room will be very happy, because we are really doing a major streamlining, and perhaps elimination and replacing it with something else,” Trump said.
Trump promised to “dismantle” Dodd-Frank on the campaign trail, but a full repeal of the law has become increasingly unlikely. Bank and financial firm executives are seeking significant rollbacks to the law but aren’t asking lawmakers to repeal it altogether.
Republican lawmakers have largely abandoned efforts to erase the law, but have pushed for significant changes to how the government monitors major banks for financial risk. They’ve also pushed for measures that subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to greater congressional oversight.
Trump and his aides haven’t released a formal Dodd-Frank reform plan, nor have they specified what parts of the law the White House wants to change.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn have even publicly backed separating consumer and investment banks, a change long opposed by the banking industry.
Instead, Trump has signed executive orders directing his administration to target banking regulations that can be cut to help boost the economy.
“We’re going to put many millions of people back to work,” Trump said following a meeting with cabinet officials and CEOs. “The banks will be able to lend again.”
Trump has made job creation through deregulation a central focus of his presidency and campaign. He said his administration has “created more than 600,000 jobs,” though federal data says the amount of U.S. jobs created in the past three months is closer to 500,000.
Even so, Trump's few legislative and deregulatory actions have likely made a limited impact on the job market.
Stocks have largely rallied since Trump’s election, and he touted several surveys of manufacturers and business owners expressing more optimism about the economy than in almost a decade. But gold prices, which rise as investors worry about the economy, hit a five-month high Tuesday as stocks sank due in part to growing geopolitical tensions.