Banking Bill Advances In Senate, Highlights Democratic Divide

by Garry Watts March 10, 2018, 0:45
Banking Bill Advances In Senate, Highlights Democratic Divide

The bipartisan bill, authored by Senate Banking Committee chairman Mike Crapo, has the support of 13 moderate Democrats, which given broad Republican backing should be enough to assure passage in the 100-seat chamber. Lawmakers are intent on easing those rules for midsize and large regional banks, asserting that would boost lending and the economy.

"But we have to do it with a much smaller base - we only have 10,000 members and 20 employees - adhering to the same regulations that a behemoth like Bank of America has to adhere to", said Lisa Lambrecht, President & CEO of Entrust Financial Credit Union in Henrico County.

"The bottom line is that S. 2155 does not require the deregulation of foreign banks, but they will no doubt be deregulated, which will once again put US taxpayers on the hook for bailouts of foreign banks rather than the taxpayers of those foreign countries", he said. The bill would raise this threshold to $250 billion, meaning that only a handful of the biggest banks would face the toughest oversight. "I want an open amendment process", she said.

May said the Dodd-Frank Act is too restrictive and hurts small, community banks even though they didn't play much of a role in the housing crisis almost 10 years ago. In a 67-32 vote, senators cleared the way for the bill to proceed.

"The American people remember".

There are another 6,000 or so actual community banks in the United States with assets less than $10 billion, according to Michael Barr, former assistant secretary for financial institutions with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and one of the architects of Dodd-Frank. "Now is the time to take on the greed and power of Wall Street and break up the largest financial institutions in the country". The legislation would increase the threshold at which banks are considered too big to fail and are subject to stricter regulations. In fact the report, which grades banks on where they stood as of June 30, 2017, notes all the banks are already above the 90% minimum LCR that will become the standard later this year. "I'm between concerned and alarmed about what my colleagues are doing on weakening bank rules".

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One of the major changes proposed in the bill is a provision that would shrink the number of big banks that, under Dodd-Frank, are subject to additional scrutiny created to assess their ability to withstand financial shocks-in essence, extra checks to determine how likely the banks are to fail or to require a government rescue with public dollars.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday that the legislation would slightly increase the risk of a large bank failure or financial crisis that could result in another taxpayer bailout.

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"We've seen this movie before and we know how it ends", she said, adding: "It's a demonstration of what's wrong with Washington: the lobbyists speak loud here but the people don't".

Despite pushback from Warren and other progressive senators, about a dozen Democrats have joined Republicans in signing on as co-sponsors of the legislation, which would make several changes to regulations impacting lenders, consumers and the economy.

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