Republicans’ vow to overhaul Obama-era financial regulations has taken a critical first step forward.
A US House of Representatives committee on Thursday advanced the Choice Act, legislation intended to unwind portions of the Dodd-Frank law, the regulatory framework put in place following the financial crisis.
Republicans had criticised Dodd-Frank for creating too much red tape that slowed economic growth, while Democrats have countered that the Choice Act would remove protections against risky and predatory behaviour from Wall Street. US President Donald Trump has taken frequent aim at Dodd-Frank throughout his campaign and since taking office in January he and others in his administration have pledged to undo portions of that law, passed during his predecessor Barack Obama’s administration.
The Choice Act would, among other things, clip the wings of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, repeal the Volcker rule — which effectively bans banks from making bets independent of customer orders or hedging requirement — and strip regulators’ power to impose tougher capital and liquidity standards on institutions deemed “too big to fail”.
The bill must still be passed by the full House before advancing to the Senate. Both legislative chambers currently have Republican majorities.