House votes to roll back Wall Street rules, defang consumer bureau

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The R Street Institute praises today's vote by the U.S. House to pass the Financial CHOICE Act, legislation that begins to unwind the Dodd-Frank Act's overly complicated and burdensome response to the financial crisis of 2008.

"This legislation would put an end to the disastrous, overreaching Dodd-Frank law that did nothing to end "too big to fail" and devastated our community bankers in the process", Comer said. Many observers believe that the law, enacted in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008, has smothered the financial system and inhibits #Economic Growth through overregulation. "After years of defeat, with President Trump in the White House this bill has the opportunity to become law". "It will also hold Wall Street accountable by ending bailouts and imposing the toughest penalties in history for fraud and other financial crimes".

In all, the measure takes aim at the Dodd-Frank reforms, which sought less risk and higher capital levels from an industry linked to the crisis and the accompanying Great Recession.

But the GOP will run into obstacles in the Senate, because Republicans in the upper chamber don't have the 60 votes needed to pass the legislation. The vote was along party lines except for one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, who voted against the bill.

Opponents have labeled it the Wrong Choice Act, with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) calling it "one of the worst bills I have seen in my time in Congress". Changes to Dodd-Frank will also need approval from posts in the Fed, FDIC, and Comptroller of the Currency, however, CNN reported, and many of those posts have not been filled.

The act was created to protect taxpayers by ending wholesale government bailouts of banks and non-bank financial institutions that encouraged indiscriminate lending.

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And consumer financial watchdog group Better Markets said in a statement that "it is not the case that financial protection rules and economic growth are mutually exclusive".

The bill cleared the House on a vote of 233 to 186.

"This partisan, risky legislation would once again leave families, seniors, and servicemembers at the mercy of predatory lenders, and put taxpayers back on the hook to pay for Wall Street's greed and recklessness, " said a statement from Brown.

Sherrod Brown of OH, said "there are a lot of things we want to do to make Dodd-Frank better, but not wholesale sellout to Wall Street, which is what they want to do".

The new bill allows banks that maintain certain levels of capital to opt out of other regulations, and nixes a provision, known as the Volcker rule, that curbs banks' ability to use funds to engage in speculative trading.

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