US House passes bill to undo Dodd-Frank regulations

While most of the country was gripped by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony in front of the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, the U.S. House quietly passed a bill repealing key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs (CHOICE) Act passed 233–186, with one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.), joining Democrats in opposition.

Against the backdrop of the 2008 financial meltdown, former President Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law on July 21, 2010.  As a presidential candidate, New York businessman Donald Trump vowed to overturn the law

Describing the bill as a regulatory monstrosity, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told reporters one day prior to the bill’s passage:

“Dodd-Frank represents the greatest regulatory burden on our economy, more so than all the other Obama-era regulations combined.  There is a better way: economic growth for all; bank bailouts for none. We will replace bailout with bankruptcy.  We’ll replace Washington micromanagement with market discipline.”

Under provisions of the bill, the Volcker Rule, which prevents government-insured banks from engaging in risky investments, would be eliminated.  Similarly, the CHOICE Act sweeps away regulation on payday lenders and car-title lenders.

Additionally, it would eliminate fiduciary rules on financial advisers and remove a provision which allows the federal government to take over and break up failing banks.

The bill also takes aim at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a treasure of the Obama administration, by severely curtailing the bureau’s ability to regulate big banks.  Further, the bill allows the CFPB’s head to be removed by the president and its budget determined entirely by Congress.

The bill now moves to the Senate where its best chances for passage lie with a reconciliation process.


[NPR] [Photo courtesy AP via Wall Street Journal]