House Chairman Vows Overhaul of Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Law

Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R-Texas], the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee vowed today to introduce legislation that would overhaul the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which, among other things, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Hensarling made his remarks at an American Bankers Association event in Washington, D.C.

“Washington’s regulatory waterboarding is drowning community banks and small businesses,” Hensarling said. “On behalf of every hardworking, struggling American — I will not rest until Dodd-Frank is ripped out by its roots and tossed on the trash heap of history.”

Hensarling pulled no punches during his remarks.

“Rightfully, Dodd-Frank should be called the Obama Financial Control Law because that’s what it is.  It stands as a monument to the arrogance and hubris of man in that its answer to incomprehensible complexity and government control is yet more incomprehensible complexity and more government control.”

In broad strokes, he laid out some of the likely components of the legislation.

Our better approach will demand accountability from both financial institutions and financial regulators. We will toughen penalties for those who engage in wrongdoing and defraud consumers.

We will also hold Washington accountable. One way we will do that is by making sure every financial regulation passes a rigorous cost-benefit test. The Ranking Democrat on my committee has called cost-benefit tests “dangerous.” But shouldn’t we know the impact a proposed regulation will have on our economy before it gets implemented? Only in Washington is this called “dangerous.” In my hometown and yours, it’s called common sense.

Hensarling’s proposal elicited a swift denouncement from Democrats. From Rep Maxine Waters [D-Calif.], the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee:

“This is just another attempt by the majority to gut administration policies that have helped millions of Americans,” she said in a statement. “Any plan that repeals the heart of Dodd Frank is a futile exercise that could jumpstart another financial crisis.”

As an added bonus, CFPB Director Richard Cordray is expected to testify before the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow. Cordray will be delivering the semi-annual report of the bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.


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