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 CrapoEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Nearing finish line, fight for cannabis banking bill shifts to the Senate MORE (R-Idaho) and ranking member Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Warren, Brown press IRS on study reviewing Free File program Sunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates 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 DonnellyWatchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (N.D.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTester: Our forefathers would not have tolerated Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing Veterans face growing threat from online disinformation MORE (Mont.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Microsoft embraces California law, shaking up privacy debate Google sparks new privacy fears over health care data MORE (Va.), along with Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinFormer coal exec Don Blankenship launches third-party presidential bid Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMSNBC's McCaskill: Trump used 'his fat thumbs' to try to intimidate Yovanovitch GOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' Iranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts MORE (Mo.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Senators press FDA tobacco chief on status of vaping ban Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising MORE (Va.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersAdvocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Warren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight Senators urge Trump to fill vacancies at DHS MORE (Mich.), and independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows by six members Senators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing MORE (Maine). Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder Liz Cheney applauds Trump for pulling out of Paris climate agreement MORE and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators introduce bipartisan bill restricting police use of facial recognition tech Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Bill Gates visits Capitol to discuss climate change with new Senate caucus 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 HensarlingHouse 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? Maxine Waters is the Wall Street sheriff the people deserve 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 WarrenNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Bloomberg, Patrick take different approaches after late entries into primary race Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne 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 SchatzCongress should lift the ban on medical cannabis access for military veterans Booker introduces bill banning facial recognition tech in public housing Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (Hawaii), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate Foreign Relations chair: 'Best' not to pass Turkey sanctions bill 'at this moment' On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war MORE (Md.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number America's avengers deserve an advocate Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE (R.I.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward 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.”