Finance

McConnell ‘not optimistic’ Dodd-Frank overhaul will happen

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he’s “not optimistic” that Congress will pass a major bill to change the Dodd-Frank financial reform law despite President Trump’s promise to “dismantle” it.

McConnell said on Bloomberg News this morning that he doesn’t think enough Democrats would support a bill to gut the sweeping financial regulations passed under former President Barack Obama. Republicans would need 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster but only control 52 seats in the upper chamber.

“I’m not optimistic,” McConnell said. “So far, my impression is the Democrats on the banking committee believe that Dodd-Frank is something akin to the Ten Commandments.”

McConnell’s comments point to the long odds that major Dodd-Frank changes face in the Senate.

{mosads}While the House is expected this month to pass the Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs (CHOICE) Act, a root-and-branch rollback of Dodd-Frank, the bill is widely considered dead on arrival in the Senate.

Democrats have fiercely defended Dodd-Frank and said they will not work with Republicans to remove its most crucial provisions. McConnell said he’d like to see bipartisan compromise on regulatory relief for community banks, which has received past bipartisan support.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), the Senate Banking Committee’s ranking Democrat, has said his party will unite against major changes to how Dodd-Frank regulates big banks but is open to community bank relief. Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) also said his preference is to focus on community banks and housing finance reform.

Though the political realities of Congress complicate Trump’s goal of fulfilling his promise to dismantle Dodd-Frank, his appointments to regulatory agencies could take their own steps to draw back the regulations.

Trump has still not appointed a Federal Reserve vice chair for supervision, a Securities and Exchange Commission member and a new comptroller of the currency, all with the power to make significant changes. 

Tags Barack Obama Mike Crapo Mitch McConnell Sherrod Brown

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