clear
Monday December 11th, 2017 8:09AM

Democrats seek to protect watchdog as GOP tackles Dodd-Frank

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic lawmakers will attempt to protect the independence of a consumer watchdog unit as Republicans move forward with an overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory laws.

House Republicans are working to undo much of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that put the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the 1930s Depression. On display throughout the debate Tuesday were two mindsets.

Republicans argued that the law known as Dodd-Frank that passed under President Barack Obama was "strangling the economy." Democratic lawmakers countered that "there are times you have to have discipline to protect people."

Democrats are particularly focused on defending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Republican bill would reduce its powers, make it easier for the president to remove its director and subject it to the regular appropriations process.

"When we wrote Dodd-Frank, we wanted the bureau to be above the fray so that it could focus solely on its mission of protecting consumers," said Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., author of an amendment seeking to keep the bureau's funding with the Federal Reserve instead of Congress.

Republicans argued that they want to enhance the accountability of the bureau. They said Congress has too little say over how the bureau operates.

"It's about checks and balances," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the GOP chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. "This is part of what we do."

The panel will continue working through the proposed replacement bill for the Dodd-Frank law on Wednesday and possibly into Thursday.

The Financial Services Committee's effort got off to a slow start Tuesday as Democrats insisted that much of the 600-page replacement bill be read aloud before the committee even considered amendments. The marathon session had been expected to last through the night, but the committees leaders agreed instead to hold the first votes Wednesday morning in what will now be at least a two-day affair.

Hensarling said that Dodd-Frank was making life difficult for community banks, forcing them to focus their resources on regulatory compliance rather than providing capital to local businesses and consumers.

"No wonder entrepreneurship is at a generational low in America," Hensarling said. "Regrettably, thanks to Dodd-Frank, too many garages in our nation are full of old cars instead of new startup small businesses."

Democrats accused the GOP of exaggerating the plight of capital markets. They said Hensarling's bill would gut consumer protection and allow banks to make the kind of risky investments that required taxpayers to come to their rescue nearly a decade ago.

"It's an invitation for another Great Recession or worse," said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Hensarling's bill targets the heart of the law's restrictions on banks by offering a trade-off: Banks could qualify for most of the regulatory relief in the bill so long as they meet a strict basic requirement for building capital to cover unexpected big losses. He says the capital requirements will work as an insurance policy against a financial institution going out of business.

Republicans are likely to pass the measure in the House. But the bill faces significant obstacles in the Senate, where leaders have emphasized their desire to find areas of agreement to enhance economic growth. Democratic lawmakers predicted that at the end of the process, the bill would not become law despite an ally in the White House.

The language that lawmakers used to describe Dodd-Frank and the GOP's Financial Choice Act replacement was often raw and emotional.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., called Hensarling's bill the worst he's seen during his 16 years in Congress. "This is really a nefarious accomplishment," Lynch said.

Hensarling countered that, considering the source, he viewed Lynch's remarks as a compliment.

Republicans said their local community banks and credit unions were telling them to vote for the bill. They said that compliance offices to deal with government regulations are the fastest-growing component of those banks.

"The community banks in the rural parts of America did not cause any of the problems, and yet that's where the heaviest burden of the regulatory regime lies," said Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M. "So when we talk about making changes to Dodd-Frank, some of the greatest beneficial effects are going to be felt in my district."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
No fun in Utah? Jazz fans turn tables on Warriors' razz
Salt Lake City leaders and tourism officials are playfully jabbing back at Golden State Warriors players who bemoaned the lack of nightlife in Utah
4:36AM ( 1 minute ago )
AP FACT CHECK: Budget not a down-payment on new border wall
AP FACT CHECK: The Trump administration's facts are muddled as it boasts that a budget compromise is a first step to fulfilling Trump's campaign promise to build a 'big beautiful wall.'
4:31AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Democrats seek to protect watchdog as GOP tackles Dodd-Frank
Democratic lawmakers will attempt to protect the independence of a consumer watchdog unit as Republicans move forward Wednesday with an overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory laws
4:28AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Moderate Republican crafts plan to boost stalled health bill
Top House Republicans scrambling to prevent another collapse of their push to repeal much of President Barack Obama's health care law may have found a way to win over some moderate GOP holdouts
4:10AM ( 27 minutes ago )
US firm in Iraq ignores smuggling, security risks for F-16s
AP Investigation: An American company helping secure the Iraqi base where F-16 fighter jets battle the Islamic State group turned a blind eye to alcohol smuggling, theft, security violations and allegations of sex trafficking
3:59AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Oklahoma faces long delay before executions can resume
Oklahoma has had one of the busiest death chambers in the country for decades, executing more people per capita than any other state since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that death sentences could resume
1:14AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: White House says Trump will sign spending bill
The White House budget office says the Trump administration is pleased with the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill and especially the additional money for the Pentagon and border security.
9:11PM ( 7 hours ago )
More unrest in Venezuela as president seeks new constitution
Venezuelans angry over the socialist president's call to rewrite the constitution have disrupted traffic in the capital by blocking streets with broken concrete, twisted metal and flaming piles of trash as the country's political crisis deepens
8:24PM ( 8 hours ago )
Heritage, key Trump White House ally, overthrows leader
The Heritage Foundation, a powerful conservative think tank, has ousted its leader in a power struggle
7:44PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Asian stocks lower ahead of US Federal Reserve meeting
Asian stocks have declined in light trading with Tokyo and Hong Kong closed for holidays ahead to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
3:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Fatal Colorado gas explosion certain to renew tensions
An explosion that killed two people in a Colorado home has prompted the governor to order sweeping inspections of natural gas lines and is certain to worsen tensions in a state already divided over how to regulate the industry
3:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
Fairfax Media cuts staff in Australia after NZ merger tossed
Struggling Australian publishing giant Fairfax Media cutting around a quarter of its newsroom staff in Australia after New Zealand merger rejected
2:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
House GOP takes first steps to undo financial law
House Republicans worked to undo former President Barack Obama's law overhauling the nation's financial rules, arguing that it is undermining economic growth
4:30PM ( 12 hours ago )
Republicans want to muzzle database of consumer complaints
Republican lawmakers want to make private a database of consumer complaints against banks, credit card issuers and other financial services companies
3:15AM ( 1 week ago )
Regulators sue Ocwen Financial, say it mishandled mortgages
State and federal authorities are suing Ocwen Financial Corp., saying the mortgage servicing company botched the handling of millions of mortgage accounts
7:44PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
Auto sales fall 4.7 pct.; 7-year win streak may come to end
U.S. auto sales fell 4.7 percent last month, the most pronounced slowdown of the year and a strong indication that 2017 will be the end of seven straight years of growth
5:20PM ( 11 hours ago )
Puerto Rico hit with lawsuits after litigation freeze ends
Bondholders are taking action against Puerto Rico after a freeze on litigation that protected the U.S. territory from lawsuits expired amid an economic crisis
4:54PM ( 11 hours ago )
Plagiarism or a 'wink'? Le Pen lifts conservative's speech
Far-right French candidate Marine Le Pen lifted verbatim parts of a speech by a former rival in what her critics call plagiarism and she says was a deliberate "wink" to him to woo his conservative voters in Sunday's presidential runoff
4:21PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
AP FACT CHECK: Budget not a down-payment on new border wall
AP FACT CHECK: The Trump administration's facts are muddled as it boasts that a budget compromise is a first step to fulfilling Trump's campaign promise to build a 'big beautiful wall.'
4:31AM ( 7 minutes ago )
UK Brexit chief rejects 100 billion-euro Brexit bill
UK Brexit secretary David Davis is rejecting the notion that Britain will be forced to foot a 100 billion euro bill to leave the European Union
4:26AM ( 11 minutes ago )
No trial balloons: Trump flips script with startling ideas
Washington policymakers have a time-tested method for rolling out new ideas: float a trial balloon
4:22AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Border Patrol brings stepped-up recruiting to fairs, rodeos
The Border Patrol is casting a wide net in the recruitment of new agents
4:18AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Trump seeks steps from Abbas to promote peace with Israel
President Donald Trump will press Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails, according to U.S. officials
4:16AM ( 21 minutes ago )