June 05, 2017

Getting Rid of Wall Street Accountability

The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, or H.R. 10, is set to come up for a vote this week.

by Caitlin Martin

Climate March, NYC, 2014

The Sales Pitch for H.R. 10

H.R. 10 is a bill sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) that is scheduled to come up for a vote on June 7, 2017. It is being touted as a bill focused on financial reform and Wall Street accountability. Here’s the pitch from the House Financial Services Committee:

  1. Taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions must end and no company can remain too big to fail;
  2. Both Wall Street and Washington must be held accountable;
  3. Simplicity must replace complexity, because complexity can be gamed by the well-connected and abused by the Washington powerful;
  4. Economic growth must be revitalized through competitive, transparent, and innovative capital markets;
  5. Every American, regardless of their circumstances, must have the opportunity to achieve financial independence;
  6. Consumers must be vigorously protected from fraud and deception as well as the loss of economic liberty; and
  7. Systemic risk must be managed in a market with profit and loss.

The Actual Product

In the bill there’s the following provisions:

  • Eliminating the enforcement tools used by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to act against unlawful practices in consumer markets such as supervising and bring enforcement actions against big banks and enforcing lawbreaking by payday and car title lenders that charge sky-high interest¬†rates.
  • Deregulates the banks and financial institutions that brought on the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Eliminates opportunities for individual shareholders to formally engage the companies in which they are invested.

Read a summary of the bill here (you can also find a link to the actual text of bill at this location):

Summary of H.R. 10: Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 - GovTrack.us

The For and Against

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, the Credit Union National Association, and the Financial Services Roundtable are all in favor of the bill. The Center for Responsible Lending and the National Consumer Law Center are against. Democrats in the House are also strongly opposed. The bill has seven co-sponsors, all Republican:

  • Andy Barr¬†(R-KY)
  • Bill Huizenga¬†(R-MI)
  • Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
  • Ann Wagner¬†(R-MO)
  • Patrick Henry¬†(R-NC)
  • Stevan Pearce¬†(R-M)
  • Sean Duffy¬†(R-WI)

Tell Congress what you think!

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