By Pete Schroeder
(Reuters) – The top Democrat on the US Senate Banking Committee told bankers meeting in Washington on Tuesday that his party would not support drastic changes to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
Senator Sherrod Brown said he was eager to work on areas of bipartisan agreement, but made clear that the big changes at Dodd-Frank, created after the 2008 financial crisis, do not fit into that bill.
“What we won’t do is a total Dodd-Frank rollback,” he told a conference of the American Bankers Association. “That would be counterproductive … the law is working.”
Brown argued that significant changes to the 2010 law, which Republicans seek, would actually be problematic for the banking industry, even as he expressed willingness to revise specific parts of the financial rules.
“Big changes create uncertainty, which is bad for everyone,” he said.
Shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, his transition team said they would “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank legislation. As president, Trump has voiced support for the efforts of the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Jeb Hensarling, to rewrite the law. He has also directed agencies to review how Dodd-Frank regulations affect banks and other financial services companies.
Brown said he would not resist any and all efforts to overhaul financial sector rules, and expressed his affection for the new Republican chairman of the banking panel, Senator Mike Crapo.
“The days of the Senate Banking Committee and its dysfunction and, let’s say, a little busy work ethic, I hope they are behind us,” he said. “We are both committed to working on issues that we can unite on.”
On Monday, Crapo and Brown jointly announced that they were seeking public comment on policy changes that could “boost economic growth.” Efforts to relax certain rules, particularly for smaller community banks and credit unions, could be an area of common ground for the two.
Crapo took control of the panel from Senator Richard Shelby in 2017, after the end of Shelby’s tenure as his boss.
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