Congress Has Its Best Shot Yet to Repeal Dodd-Frank
Earlier this year under the leadership of Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the House Financial Services Committee passed the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs Act (H.R. 5983) or Financial Choice Act for short. This bill repeals or replaces most of the misnamed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which fails to address the government drivers of the financial crisis and makes taxpayer bailouts of large financial firms the government deems “too big to fail” more likely.
Congressional Republicans attempted to amend or repeal Dodd-Frank 60 times over the last six years. By passing the Financial Choice Act out of committee, Chairman Hensarling demonstrated Dodd-Frank repeal is possible, especially now that Republicans kept the House and the Senate and won the White House.
While it’s impossible to know what exactly President-elect Trump plans to do, he strongly opposed the bill while on the campaign trail. In addition, Trump recently nominated a former Goldman Sachs partner, Steven Mnuchin, to be the next U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, who himself indicated opposition to the bill.
Mnuchin told reporters this week, “The number one problem with Dodd-Frank is it’s way too complicated and it cuts back lending, so we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending and that will be the number one priority on the regulatory side. The number one priority is going to be make sure that banks lend.”
But regardless of his or Trump’s opinion, Dodd-Frank must be repealed. Dodd-Frank has done tremendous harm to the housing and business industries, along with the communities they serve. Consumers and small businesses pay higher prices, have fewer choices of financial products and services, and have less access to credit due to the regulatory costs it imposes on banks and mortgage lenders. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to work with the new administration and follow through on their commitment to end Dodd-Frank.