Banking panel Dems push chairman for bipartisan reg relief bill

Greg Nash

Four moderate Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee on Friday asked the panel’s chairman to help strike a bipartisan deal to amend Obama-era financial regulations.

Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.) “strongly encouraged” Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to “reach an agreement on a regulatory reform package that can come before the committee” within weeks.

Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester and Warner backed a 2015 bipartisan bill that former Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) never brought for the panel for a vote. That bill would have rolled back and readjusted some of the key portions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law long targeted by banks and firms that complained that the 2010 law was slowing economic growth with red tape.

{mosads}Crapo and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown (Ohio) both expressed interest in moving a bipartisan regulatory reform bill this year, and committee members have largely coalesced around key provisions of deal. Those include clarifying the Volcker rule banning banks from making risky trades with their own capital, exempting mid-size regional and community banks from stricter government oversight and reduce the frequency of regulator stress tests.

The four Democrats asked that Crapo pick up the efforts “to rationalize our financial regulatory regime.” Donnelly, Heitkamp and Tester are up for reelection next year in states President Trump won by wide margins in 2016 and have been vocal in pursuit of major bipartisan legislation.

“Our desire to see substantive legislative action has not waned and we remain confident that your efforts have support from both sides of the dias,” the Democrats wrote.

While Congress has amended parts of Dodd-Frank under Trump, lawmakers have yet to send major fixes to the president’s desk.

The Financial CHOICE Act, an ambitious effort that would have replaced or repealed much of Dodd-Frank, passed the House in June but likely won’t see action in the Senate. The slim two-seat Senate Republican majority makes passing any sweeping changes to Dodd-Frank over a Democratic filibuster nearly impossible without bipartisan support.

Tags Heidi Heitkamp Joe Donnelly Jon Tester Mark Warner Mike Crapo Richard Shelby Sherrod Brown
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