Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE on Thursday signed a bipartisan bill to loosen key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, cementing the first major changes to President Obama’s landmark banking law.

Trump enacted the legislation during a White House ceremony two days after the House of Representatives passed the bill to exempt dozens of banks from strict federal regulation.

Trump had pledged to “dismantle” Dodd-Frank, a law long targeted by Republicans, and touted the bill he signed as the first step in that process. While the bill will release dozens of banks from stronger Federal Reserve oversight, it falls well short of the president’s vow to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank.

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“We’ve kept a lot of promises,” Trump said. “This is truly a great day for Americans, and a great day for workers and small businesses across the nation.”

The bill signed by Trump was the product of years of bipartisan negotiations between Republican senators opposed to the entire law and moderate Democrats concerned about its impact on community banks and credit unions. The narrow GOP majority in the Senate made it impossible to pass a Dodd-Frank rollback without the support of moderate Democrats.

The legislation was introduced in November by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoNew push to open banks to marijuana industry Private insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers race to pass border deal | Trump rips 'stingy' Democrats, but says shutdown would be 'terrible' | Battle over contractor back pay | Banking panel kicks off data security talks MORE (R-Idaho) and a group of moderate Democrats on the panel, including Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal How the border deal came together MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring Warner questions health care groups on cybersecurity Cohen to testify before Senate Intel on Tuesday MORE (Va.).

Trump on Thursday praised “a lot of great Democrats” who had written the bill, but did not invite most of its Democratic authors to the signing ceremony.

Trump only invited Heitkamp to the event, snubbing Tester, Donnelly and Warner.

A Donnelly aide said his office "was told by the White House he would not be receiving an invitation due to space constraints.” Even so, the event was attended by close to two dozen lawmakers and administration officials, some of which had little to do with the legislation signed by Trump

Trump was also joined by Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceUN nuclear watchdog: Iran maintains compliance with 2015 pact Pence going to Colombia to demand Maduro step down Grenell: Push to decriminalize homosexuality 'wildly supported' by both parties MORE, Crapo, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingThe next two years of federal housing policy could be positive under Mark Calabria Why Ocasio-Cortez should make flood insurance reform a priority Exiting lawmakers jockey for K Street perch MORE (R-Texas) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump considering meeting with China's Xi next month to finish trade deal U.S. farm exports expected to drop nearly billion amid US-China trade dispute Huawei CEO: Daughter's arrest was 'politically motivated' MORE.

The president was also flanked by several Republican members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services panels, along with GOP lawmakers that had little input on the bill Trump signed.

Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesLand conservation tax incentives should inspire charitable giving, not loopholes Montana governor visiting Iowa amid talk of possible 2020 bid Will Senate GOP try to pass a budget this year? MORE (R-Mont.) was in attendance for the ceremony, despite not being on the Banking committee or a co-sponsor of the legislation. Tester aides saw Daines' invitation as a move motivated by politics, snubbing the Democrat who had spent years crafting the bill.

A spokeswoman for Daines said "Since he was elected into the House, Daines has been consistently working on the repeal of the disastrous Dodd-Frank legislation," and pointed to his votes and speeches in support of the bill Trump signed Thursday.

The final compromise leaves most of Dodd-Frank in place, but provides a major boost for some of the largest U.S. banks. The measure releases of regional banks from tighter regulation by raising the threshold for closer Fed oversight from $50 billion to $250 billion in assets.

Banks below the new threshold will no longer be automatically subject to annual Fed stress tests and capital buffers meant to protect large firms are from severe financial crises.

Those banks are also no longer required to from submit for Fed approval a “living will” that outlines how a bank’s assets could be liquidated upon the firm’s failure without causing a widespread meltdown.

The bill includes several provisions to scrap rules for community banks and credit unions. Firms that hold 500 or fewer mortgages a year will no longer have to report some home loan data to federal regulators under anti-discrimination laws.

The bill also broadens the definition of qualified mortgages for smaller firms and exempts banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets from the Volcker Rule, which bans firms from making risky bets with their own assets.

Trump said the rollbacks would help community banks and credit unions become “vibrant and strong,” insisting years of overregulation had suffocated small firms.

“They shouldn’t be regulated the same way as big complex financial institutions,” Trump said. “This is all about the Dodd-Frank disaster.”
Bank and credit union lobbying groups praised Trump for enacting the regulatory relief they’ve sought for years.

Rebeca Romero Rainey, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said the law “unravels many of the suffocating regulatory burdens our nation’s community banks face and puts community banks in a much better position to unleash their full economic potential.”

Updated at 1:37 p.m.