Top GOP Congressman Pushes To Repeal And Replace Dodd-Frank

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling is slated to preview legislation offering an alternative to Dodd-Frank, which he says is hurting the economy, during a speech at the Economic Club of New York Tuesday morning.

The Texas Republican has been a staunch critic of the 2010 Wall Street reform act placing additional regulations on financial institutions, saying it is hurting the economy and calling for it to be repealed and replaced.

“Dodd-Frank’s false premise is that an alchemy of Wall Street greed, outsized private risk and massive Washington de-regulation almost blew up the world economy,” he said in his prepared remarks, obtained in advance by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “According to their narrative, this necessitated massive taxpayer bailouts and a functional occupation of our capital markets by federal regulators. But financial regulation did not decrease in the decade leading up to the crisis – it markedly increased.”

Hensarling said the law – aimed at preventing another economic crisis similar to what was seen during the Great Recession – has stifled the nation’s economic recovery, strangled the nation’s small banks with its regulatory burdens and led to illiquidity and volatility in the bond market.

Under the Financial CHOICE Act – short for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors Consumers and Entrepreneurs – regulation would have to pass a cost-benefit test. Community banks would also be held to a different standard than larger institutions.

“We are losing, on average, one community financial institution each day – and they are not dying from natural causes but from the sheer weight, volume, complexity and expense of Washington’s rules,” he continued in his speech. “So our plan requires financial regulators to tailor regulations so they fit a bank or credit union’s business model and risk profile.”

The congressman said regulatory agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency would be converted into bipartisan commissions if his plan is passed by Congress.

While the legislation would cut some of the red tape put in place under the Dodd-Frank Act, he assured the financial industry would still be held accountable.

“We will double the cap for the most serious securities law violations and will allow for triple monetary fines when penalties are tied to illegal profits,” he said in the speech. “We will give the SEC new authority to impose sanctions more closely linked to investor losses – and increase punishments even more for repeat offenders.”

The maximum criminal fines for both individuals and firms would also be increased for those found guilty of insider trading.

Democrats have repeatedly pushed back against the GOP’s efforts to scale back Wall Street regulations, claiming they are necessary to shield the economy from economic turmoil.

Hensarling is expected to introduce his legislation later this month.

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