After massive bank fine, Congress considers bill to gut financial reform

Image via Brandon Doran on

Image via Brandon Doran on

This week, the House Financial Services Committee will consider an extraordinarily dangerous bill that takes many of the worst ideas concocted by Wall Street lobbyists and their political friends and combines them into one toxic package.

The bill, the “Financial CHOICE Act” (H.R. 5983) is authored by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-5), and it not only rolls back key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act, it also guts regulations that came before it. If passed, it would make financial regulation even weaker than it was even prior to the 2008 crisis. It also eviscerates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) mere days after the CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million for widespread unlawful sales practices and ordered Wells Fargo to issue full refunds to all scammed customers. With banks continuing to abuse their own customers we need  MORE accountability, not less.

The bill faces opposition from a diverse coalition of groups. 16 organizations including civil rights, labor, and consumer advocacy organizations joined an opposition letter led by Americans for Financial Reform. A wide range of  public interest groups like Public Citizen and the Center for Popular Democracy, as did the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. In addition, because the bill repeals a part of Dodd-Frank known as the “Durbin amendment,” which limited fees charged to retailers for debit card processing, many business and retail groups have also opposed the CHOICE Act, with several noting that they will “key vote” this bill as it is considered in the Committee.

Here is a complete round-up of all letters of opposition to the Financial CHOICE Act:

CHOICE Act opposition letters from advocacy groups:

CHOICE Act opposition letters from business and retailer groups: