Coming back to a busy post-recess week on Capitol Hill, Congress is set to vote on a bill that promises to give a boost to small business and make your next bank loan less of a pain.
Roll Call reported Monday that House leadership has scheduled a vote on H.R. 10 — or, the Financial Choice Act. The plan would roll back much of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act — a reactionary regulatory measure passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis.
While not a full repeal, the legislation would do away with substantial portions of the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime, thereby loosening the U.S. credit market. This would make it easier for people and businesses to get loans, ostensibly breathing new life into previously throttled local financial institutions.
“The era of ‘too big to fail’ will end,” reads a statement from the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, “and we will replace Dodd-Frank’s growth-strangling regulations on community banks and credit unions with reforms that expand access to capital so small businesses can create jobs and consumers have more choices and options when it comes to credit.”
The bill’s passage would also give the GOP a clear and easy winner to take home to constituents, especially when other such major promises — e.g. Obamacare repeal, tax reform — are currently sitting in legislative limbo. (And the state of the budget is currently miles away from anything that looks like regular order.)
In effect, the hundreds of regulations generated by the liberal Dodd-Frank bill — allegedly meant to rein in excessive practices of large corporations responsible for the historic bubble burst — created a nightmare for community banks and small businesses.
In the biggest irony of ironies, however, this sort of regulatory environment provides a boon for Wall Street, as bigger operations end up having much of their competition (you know, “the little guys”) being eliminated … and reap the benefits of a state-sponsored oligopoly.
There’s also a provision in the Republican’s House bill that appeals to proponents of constitutional government and provide some schadenfreude to opponents of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The bill would gut (though not totally abolish) the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau – a brainchild of the far-left Massachusetts delegate – which is currently embroiled in a power struggle with the executive branch over whether the president has the power to fire its director.
Opponents of the commission argue that such entities constitute an unconstitutional fourth branch of government, because their structure makes them unaccountable to voters.
Editor's note: The headline has been updated to better reflect the content.