Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank

Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank
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Republicans and a block of moderate Democrats advanced on Tuesday significant proposed changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Senate Banking Committee approved by a 16 to 7 vote a sweeping bill that would exempt dozens of banks from Dodd-Frank and loosen the rules imposed after the financial crisis on smaller firms.

Banking panel members from both parties sought to strike a bipartisan deal that would win the approval of both Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoRepublican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Lobbying World Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices MORE (R-Idaho) and ranking member Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Stocks close with second day of steep losses | Dow falls over 800 points as coronavirus fears grow | Kudlow claims virus has been contained | US expects China to honor trade deal amid outbreak Hillicon Valley: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles Senate Democrats urge Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference MORE (Ohio).

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After talks between Crapo and Brown collapsed in October, Crapo and the committee’s Republicans joined with nine Democrats to sponsor the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

The bill would raise the asset threshold at which a bank holding company is considered a “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) from $50 billion to $250 billion, and exempt all banks with less than $100 billion in assets from federal stress tests immediately.

Democrats sponsoring the bill include Banking Committee members Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon Donnelly70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Ginsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (N.D.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocratic senator: 'The ultimate of ironies' for Trump to hit Romney for invoking his faith Committee on Veterans Affairs sends important message during tense Senate time Democrats cry foul over Schiff backlash MORE (Mont.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSurveillance fight emerges as intelligence flashpoint Congress eyes killing controversial surveillance program This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (Va.), along with Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Murkowski, Manchin introduce major energy legislation The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskill70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Democrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face' Kansas City, Kan., responds to Trump tweet: We root for the Chiefs, too MORE (Mo.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Republicans give Barr vote of confidence The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (Va.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersGOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats State officials press Congress for more resources to fight cyberattacks Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments MORE (Mich.), and independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingOcasio-Cortez defends Sanders running as a Democrat: It's 'more than what you call yourself' Use of voting tabulation apps raise red flags on Capitol Hill Patrick Dempsey to star in pilot for CBS political drama 'Ways and Means' MORE (Maine). Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic White House effort to roll back bedrock environmental law spurs strong opposition Where do we go from here? Conservation can show the way MORE and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Graham warned Pentagon chief about consequences of Africa policy: report Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Del.) said Tuesday they will also support the bill.

The deal has enough support to overcome a Democratic filibuster, and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE (R-Texas) said he’s willing to work with Crapo on a version that could pass the lower chamber.

But the bill is based on a fragile bipartisan balance. The coalition consists of Republicans eager to make whatever rollbacks they can to Dodd-Frank and moderate Democrats up running for reelection in states that supported President Trump in 2016.

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Both groups say they’re eager to pare back what they call Dodd-Frank’s excessive burdens on smaller banks while proving to the fractured United States that productive compromise is possible.

A group of liberal Democrats opposed to the bill, including Brown, offered a slew of amendments that the sponsoring coalition voted down.

They offered amendments intended to relieve student loan defaulters, target relief for smaller banks, hold credit reporting agencies to tighter standards and bolster protections for military members abroad.

While some of the Democratic amendments to tighten Dodd-Frank’s oversight of major banks won’t see action, Crapo said several of the defeated amendments could be added to the bill later with changes that would keep the bill passable.

“The bill we are marking up today is the product of a thorough, robust process, and honest, bipartisan negotiations,” Crapo said.

“All of the sponsors have worked in good faith to include provisions from those who have offered them, including those who do not support the bill. And we will continue to do so after this markup.”

Brown said he hoped he would have been able to strike a deal with Crapo, but that the bill rolls back too many critical Dodd-Frank rules that underpin financial stability. He also expressed concerns that Trump’s nominees to federal regulators would take advantage of looser rules and threaten the economy with lax oversight.

“I support providing some relief to small banks and credit unions, but I think this bill unwisely chooses to do so by rolling back protections for people from the very activities that led to the crisis,” Brown said.

“There’s nothing to help people with record-high levels of student loan debt; nothing to help those with underwater mortgages; and nothing to help workers who are struggling to get by.”

Liberals claimed the bill was little more than a wish list for bank lobbyists meant to boost a financial sector already reaping record profits. 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBloomberg: 'I'm going to stay right to the bitter end' of Democratic primary race The Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Sanders holds 13-point lead in Fox News poll MORE (D-Mass.) said she was “disturbed” that her colleagues would consider rolling back financial rules amid the series of scandals exposed at banks such as Wells Fargo.

She, along with Brown, Democratic Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOcasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response' Kudlow claims coronavirus has been contained: 'It's pretty close to air-tight' Booker, Merkley propose federal facial recognition moratorium MORE (Hawaii), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOn The Money: Stocks plummet into correction over fears of coronavirus spreading | GOP resistance to Fed pick Shelton eases | Sanders offers bill to limit tax breaks for retiring executives Sanders offers bill taking aim at tax breaks for executive retirement plans Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge MORE (Md.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedBipartisan senators say Pentagon's effort to improve military housing falls short Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Democrats introduce bill to reverse Trump's shift of military money toward wall MORE (R.I.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (N.J.) opposed the bill and supported several failed Democratic amendments.

Moderate Democrats backing the bill fiercely defended the deal and the means through which it was negotiated. They insisted that the bill would provide meaningful regulatory relief for small, rural banks and credit unions that were facing record levels of consolidation.

“This is going to allow working families to get loans and buy homes,” said Tester, who is up for reelection in 2018 in a state Trump won handily.

“I guarantee you that without this bill the only people that we would be empowering are the big banks.”

Heitkamp, also facing a tight reelection next year, said: “There’s not everything that I would want if I could write this bill and force you all the vote for it.”

But “what people are going to see from this committee room is that this body can function,” Heitkamp added. “That’s something this country desperately needs.”