the staff of the Ridgewood blog
WASHINGTON DC, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s markup of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. The Financial CHOICE Act is the Republican alternative to the failed Dodd-Frank Act. The Financial CHOICE Act ends taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks, holds Washington and Wall Street accountable with the toughest penalties in history for fraud, and promotes economic growth. For more information on the Financial CHOICE Act, visit www.FinancialCHOICE.gop:
When Dodd-Frank was passed nearly 7 years ago, Americans were promised it would lift the economy. Instead, we’ve had the slowest and weakest recovery of our lifetimes. We were promised Dodd-Frank would end bailouts. Instead, Dodd-Frank promises more taxpayer-funded bailouts for the Wall Street banks that unelected bureaucrats decree are too big to fail. We were promised that by turning more control over our economy to Washington, Dodd-Frank would make our financial system more secure.
Yet, with Dodd-Frank the big banks got even bigger; we’ve lost more than 1,700 community banks; and corporate bond markets are seeing historic levels of illiquidity and volatility. That’s not a more secure financial system. That’s increasing risk to our financial system and setting the stage for the next crisis. Even the former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council admitted Dodd-Frank has not made large banks any safer than they were before Dodd-Frank.
Instead of helping working families recover and achieve financial independence, university researchers concluded Dodd-Frank “triggered a substantial redistribution of credit from middle class households to wealthy households.” Indeed, the Federal Reserve tells us that when Dodd-Frank is fully phased in, one-third of black and Hispanic borrowers who were able to buy a home before the crisis will no longer be able to do so. Consumers who could depend on free checking at their banks no longer can because of Dodd-Frank.
Instead, consumers find their average monthly fees have tripled. For all the rhetoric we hear from the other side about how Dodd-Frank was supposed to be a “consumer protection law,” the reality is that with Dodd-Frank consumers are paying more and getting less.
And for all the rhetoric we hear from the other side about how Dodd-Frank is a “Wall Street reform” law, the reality is Wall Street is doing just fine under Dodd-Frank.
Wall Street CEOs themselves have openly stated their big banks are among the biggest beneficiaries of Dodd-Frank. They’ve said Dodd-Frank’s complexity and regulations help them maintain a competitive advantage over their competitors. No doubt this is one reason why so many Wall Street CEOs are joining with Democrats to publicly say they don’t want Congress to repeal Dodd-Frank.
Community banks and credit unions – well, that’s a different thing. In hearing after hearing, this committee has heard from dozens of community bankers and credit union leaders about the very real harm Dodd-Frank is causing on Main Street. We see this especially when it comes to small businesses, America’s job creating engine. Just listen to the former director of President Obama’s Small Business Administration, who lamented the fact that Dodd-Frank’s heavy-handed regulations on community banks “are getting in the way of their ability to make small business loans.”
No wonder entrepreneurship is at a generational low in America. Regrettably, thanks to Dodd-Frank, too many garages are full of old cars instead of new startup small businesses.
It’s time for the bailouts to end. It’s time to help small businesses on Main Street. It’s time to make Washington and Wall Street both accountable. It’s time for the Financial CHOICE Act.
The Financial CHOICE Act ends bailouts so Washington can never again pick taxpayers’ pockets and hand the money over to big banks. It ends too big to fail. It makes our financial system safer and helps avoid another crisis by replacing taxpayer funds with loss-absorbing private capital – far more capital than either Dodd-Frank or the Basel Accords requires.
It creates a true cop on the beat to protect consumers. We will have a consumer agency fully focused on enforcing consumer protection laws instead of losing valuable time and resources making up their own laws with no accountability, checks and balances or due process. The Financial CHOICE Act will ensure that the shadow regulators come out from the shadows and that government will be accountable to We, the People.
The Financial CHOICE Act holds Wall Street accountable with the toughest penalties in history for fraud and insider trading.
Instead of trying to grow our economy the old way, with top-down Washington regulations, the Financial CHOICE Act will unleash a wave of capital formation to grow America’s economy – not Washington’s government economy.
And the Financial CHOICE Act offers desperately-needed regulatory relief for our community banks and credit unions.
That’s why community banks and credit unions, who sometimes don’t always agree, have joined together in support of the Financial CHOICE Act.
Americans are tired of waiting. They have struggled for far too long. It is time to end bailouts. It is time to hold Washington and Wall Street accountable. It is time to make our financial system safer, stronger and more secure. And it is time for a healthier economy, with equal opportunity for all. It is time for the Financial CHOICE Act.