“While Everyone Was Obsessing Over Comey, Republicans Passed A Bill To Kill Dodd-Frank”


 The so-called “CHOICE Act” House Republicans passed on Thursday would roll back Dodd-Frank, the law passed to stop the 2008 financial crisis from happening again.
Associated Press: “Emboldened by a business-friendly president, Republicans in Congress have set a goal that is nothing if not ambitious: To undo the stricter banking rules that took effect after the devastating 2008 financial crisis.”
New York Times: “The bill has maintained a low profile compared with Republican plans on health care and taxes, but rolling back Dodd-Frank represents a major part of the Republican agenda.”
According to experts, the rollback could lead to “a bank collapse as bad as Lehman Brothers', or worse.”
NPR: The CHOICE Act repeals “the so-called Volcker Rule, which prevents government-insured banks from making risky bets with investments.”
The Street: “More than 100 bankruptcy scholars, including Nobel prize winners and former Federal Reserve governors, are urging Congress not to undo…the provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill meant to protect the U.S. economy from a bank collapse as bad as Lehman Brothers', or worse.”
It would also hurt regulators’ ability to punish banks for lying to investors.
Time: “After Dodd-Frank, about 80% of enforcement actions happen in SEC administrative proceedings before SEC judges, instead of as civil suits in federal district courts. That allows for a speedier and cheaper resolution of disputes and gives the SEC a home-court advantage against the banks. The Financial CHOICE Act would move these proceedings to regular courts if the bank chooses.”
Even worse, it defangs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has made strides to empower consumers (especially veterans and servicemembers) when they’re up against predatory lenders and debt collectors. 
HousingWire: “As the bill moves through Congress, VoteVets and Common Defense are asking leaders of both parties to preserve the CFPB … The groups note the Office of Servicemembers Affairs within the CFPB and the work that the agency has done on behalf of servicemembers in the past few years, including four 2015 enforcement actions that focused on servicemembers and resulted in more than $5 million in refunds and other relief.”
New York Times in 2012: “Debt collection agencies, whose sometimes aggressive tactics have earned them scrutiny from consumer protection groups and state regulators, will come under federal supervision for the first time beginning Jan. 2, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau begins oversight.” 
LA Times’ David Lazarus: “You have to wade all the way to Page 403 of the 589-page Financial Choice Act to find a one-sentence provision that obliterates current efforts to bring fairness and responsibility to payday lenders and similar merchants of never-ending debt.”