The House today voted to give final congressional approval to a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s banking rules that would roll back key elements of Dodd-Frank but still leave most of that 2010 law on the books.
The White House said earlier this week that President Donald Trump would sign into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which won House approval 258-159 as 33 Democrats and 225 Republicans voted for the bill. Administration officials say the legislation effectively recalibrates regulation and risk in the financial services sector while promoting economic growth and new jobs.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said the bill “right-sizes” regulations for smaller financial institutions, allowing community banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to grow.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the bill strikes a “balance between ensuring a safe and sound banking system and promoting economic growth. It’s an important part of our plan to untangle financial regulations from their hold on our economy, and bring common sense and financial opportunity back to communities across the country.”
Key provisions of the legislation include:
- Increasing banks’ asset threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion for extra regulatory scrutiny by the Federal Reserve.
- Streamlining capital requirements and other exemptions from mortgage-lending rules for community banks.
- Amending the Volcker rule for banks with less than $10 billion in assets in an effort to bolster market liquidity and decrease risk to the financial system in economic downturn.
- Repealing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which aimed to minimize supposedly conflicted investment advice given to retirement savers.
(Click here for a section-by-section summary of the banking deregulation bill. Click here for a list of groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and those representing community bankers and credit union members that endorsed the bill.)
Although Republicans hailed the bill as a massive deregulatory effort, GOP lawmakers weren’t able repeal Dodd-Frank in its entirety. Key provisions of that law remaining on the books include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Washington’s authority to unwind failing large banks.
In March, the legislation won Senate approval in a 67-31 vote, with 17 Democrats breaking ranks with the bill’s liberal opponents, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who warned it could trigger a repeat of the 2008 global financial crisis.
House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, had wanted to amend the Senate bill to further lower banks’ regulatory burden and make it easier for small businesses to raise capital. But Crapo and the moderate Senate Democrats who backed it warned any changes would likely upset the delicate political balance in the Senate and sink the effort.