Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Senate On Verge Of Passing Bill To Deregulate Banks With Democrats' Help

Senate On Verge Of Passing Bill To Deregulate Banks With Democrats' Help

In the letter, Jack Howard, Senior Vice President of Congressional and Public Affairs for the chamber, writes, "This bipartisan legislation is a step towards right-sizing regulations on community and regional banks and would help reverse the decade-long decline in small business lending".

The bill from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoBeware of the bank deregulation Trojan horse Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA Dems rip Trump's Fed pick as Senate panel mulls three key nominees MORE (R-Idaho) exempts dozens of banks from tougher Federal Reserve oversight and frees smaller firms from regulations meant to prevent mortgage fraud and discrimination. "There are things we could do to reduce the load on community banks". This controversial bill - which was jammed through Congress with nearly no weigh-in from Republican lawmakers - was created to increase oversight of America's largest banks. According to a report by CNBC, the financial reform bill, which is aimed at easing some of the financial regulations put on the sector after the Great Recession as part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, will make it easier for local banks and credit unions to offer home buyers a mortgage. Heidi Heitkamp gave a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday to push back at some of her colleagues' concerns about the bill.

The bill has overwhelming Republican support and enough Democratic backing that it's expected to garner the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate, possibly later this week.

All Republicans and more than a dozen Democrats voted to move the bill toward a vote on final passage, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

The threshold for tighter Fed regulation is now set at $50 billion, and the increase would free several major regional banks, including SunTrust, BB&T, Citizens, Fifth Third, M&T and BMO Financial Corp., from those standards.

Part of the legislation could allow JPMorgan Chase and Citibank, two of the very biggest banks in the USA, to hold less capital relative to their assets, undercutting one of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law's safety measures.

"Banks say they don't treat borrowers differently, but the data shows a different story", said Sen.


In fact, all five Democrats up for re-election from those red states - Sens. Chris Van Hollen, said that some of the adjustments for smaller banks make sense but agreed with Warren that the current bill takes the deregulation too far. "Regional and traditional lenders and our communities have been disadvantaged by a regulatory model that lumps us together with the largest, most complex banks". Hensarling wants the Senate to add the measures the House already passed before the bill will go to conference and on its way to President Donald Trump for approval.

Banks have been fighting Dodd Frank nearly since it was signed into law by President Obama a decade ago.

Sen. Tim Kaine, the former vice presidential candidate, said that even with the rollback the amount of oversight on the financial sector will still be significantly higher than before Wall Street's collapse.

Mike Crapo of Idaho, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. "By more regulators, but the level of extra regulation is adjusted based on size and risk and that's what I think ought to be done". Ten of the Democratic supporters of the bill are from states that Trump carried in 2016 and are up for re-election this year.

At the same time, the minority leader did not stand in the way of Democrats supporting the bill.

Schumer didn't tell Warren to stop attacking the bill or to dig in.

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