Democrats say Dodd-Frank repeal is 'wrong choice'

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The House voted Thursday in favor of a bill created to roll back key regulations over the banking industry implemented in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

House passage of the CHOICE Act is the farthest Republicans have gotten so far in undoing regulations they say hurt small banks and make the government responsible for bailing out big financial institutions should they fail.

Critics said the bill would not easily pass the Senate.

Thursday's vote went almost straight down the House partisan line.

The bill would also change many of Dodd-Frank's restrictions on banking, including repealing Volcker Rule restrictions on certain speculative investments by banks, removing the Financial Stability Oversight Council's authority to designate nonbank financial institutions and financial market utilities as "systemically important", and converting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into a consumer law enforcement agency. "Dems enacted the strongest consumer financial protections in history".

But he lambasted the House measure, calling it "partisan, risky legislation [that] would once again leave families, seniors and service members at the mercy of predatory lenders, and put taxpayers back on the hook to pay for Wall Street's greed and recklessness".

He pointed out that the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill indicates it would reduce federal deficits by $24.1 billion over the next 10 years while only costing $1.8 billion to implement.

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Surprisingly, one of Dodd-Franks biggest proponents, Barney Frank, for whom the law is named, agreed that a particular aspect of the legislation was in fact over-burdensome; it's effect on small community banks. Next week the Treasury Department is expected to release the first in a series of reports on lightening financial rules and re-interpreting Dodd-Frank provisions. The CHOICE Act also makes the CFPB director removable at will by the president.

Republican supporters of the bill claim Dodd-Frank stifles small business and the domestic economy with too much regulation.

"Today a bill to roll back Dodd-Frank will take the final step in never being approved by the Senate", tweeted Sean Tuffy, an expert on financial regulation at Brown Brothers Harriman.

The top lobbyist for the banking industry - which supports parts of the Choice Act - says the bill would bring relief to community banks, which many say have been overburdened by Dodd-Frank's onerous, one-size-fits-all regulations.

Mooney also said the regulations make it more hard for families to get home mortgages. "The Senate should take up our legislation immediately". "It stands for economic growth for all, but bank bailouts for none", he said.

The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

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