The House Financial Services Committee voted to advance H.R. 10, or the Financial CHOICE Act, to a full House vote on Thursday. The CHOICE Act, which was proposed by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) as a replacement for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Today’s vote followed party lines, with the final vote coming down to 34 to 26.
The Financial CHOICE Act would allow banks to opt out of many rules set by Dodd-Frank as long as they maintain a sufficient level of capital. Detractors of the bill, including Ranking Committee member Maxine Waters (D-California). Waters called the Act “an invitation for another Great Recession or worse” during this week’s markup.
“This is one of the worst bills I’ve seen in my time in Congress,” Waters said.
Waters called the CHOICE Act the “Wrong Choice Act,” a sentiment mirrored by other Representatives such as Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), who called the bill “deeply disturbing.” Lauren Saunders, Associate Director of the National Consumer Law Center, agrees, saying “this bad bill is the wrong choice for consumers, including veterans, workers, and elders.”
But Hensarling rebutted, saying Dodd-Frank has been giving Wall Street a leg up all along.
Dodd-Frank was a mistake, according to Hensarling, and Wall Street and Washington must be held accountable. The Financial CHOICE Act “ends taxpayer-funded bank bailouts, and unleashes America’s economic potential,” said Hensarling. “We want economic opportunity for all, bailouts for none. We want real consumer protections that will give you more choices. Our solution grows the economy from Main Street up, creates more opportunities for working families to get ahead, and levels the playing field with no more Wall Street bailouts.”
“Under Dodd-Frank,” he said, “consumers are paying more and getting less. Wall Street banks have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of Dodd-Frank regulation.”