House Votes To Dismantle Banking Rules Aimed At Preventing Another Financial Crisis

Photo: Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty Images.
Update: The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation aimed at dismantling many of the banking restrictions put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.
This story was originally published on June 2, 2017.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the vote on Friday, saying Congress plans to vote on the Financial CHOICE Act, which would roll back much of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act (commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank for short). In a statement posted to his website, Ryan called the Financial CHOICE Act a "jobs bill for Main Street," writing, "It will rein in the overreach of Dodd-Frank that has allowed the big banks to get bigger while small businesses have been unable to get the loans they need to succeed. With the Financial CHOICE Act, the era of taxpayer-funded bailouts and too big to fail is over. "
Dodd-Frank was a huge change to U.S. financial regulation, making it possible for the federal government to break up big banks deemed "too big to fail," forcing banks to plan how they would shut down if failing, and prohibiting them from owning, investing, or sponsoring specific types of funds for their profit.
The Financial CHOICE Act would eliminate the "too big to fail" classification, give banks the choice to not follow Dodd-Frank's rules if they have enough money, and reduce the power of federal financial regulatory agencies.
Essentially, it would give big banks a lot more power — power the Obama administration aimed to reduce in order to prevent an economic meltdown like the country saw nine years ago.
A previous version of the bill would have also gotten rid of the current cap on fees credit card companies can charge retailers for processing debit and credit cards, but that provision was taken out.
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Democrats opposing Republicans' financial bill argue that it will allow the 2008 financial crisis to happen all over again. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted, "Americans lost their homes and life savings in the financial crisis. Republicans want to take us back to those days," calling it the "Wrong Choice Act."
With the credit card fee cap in place, the Financial CHOICE Act passed through the House Financial Services Committee with only Republican support, and is likely to pass along party lines on the House floor. However, it probably won't sail through the Senate as smoothly.
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