Special Interests Should not Stand in the way of Dodd-Frank Reform

This week marks the six year anniversary since the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law by President Obama, but instead of addressing the major causes of the financial crisis, Dodd-Frank has made things worse.

The bill has imposed 3,500-plus pages of new rules and regulations on the financial industry, codified “too big to fail” policies, destroyed local community banks, restricted access to credit for investors and homebuyers, raised lending costs, reduced access to capital for businesses, and created one of the most powerful and unaccountable federal agencies in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Earlier last month, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) unveiled draft legislation entitled the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs) Act, which repeals and replaces the worst provisions of Dodd-Frank.

While this bill would provide much-needed regulatory relief for those in the business and real estate community, some organizations, including the National Restaurant Association (NRA), are opposing the bill for minor special interest reasons. The NRA is calling members to oppose the entire bill simply because it would allow financial institutions to freely charge debit card swipe fees.

The actions by the NRA highlight the broader challenge Congress has in passing serious financial legislative reforms that hurt some special interests, but have a net positive effect for real estate professionals, businesses, banks, consumers and the economy at large. Hopefully this time Congress will have the courage to do what’s right.

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