WASHINGTON, DC — The MAGA House Majority’s latest gift to the financial industry at consumers’ expense comes under consideration today in the House Financial Services Committee: a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) that recklessly seeks to expand a range of regulatory exemptions for banks with between $10 billion and $50 billion in total assets, including removing oversight by the CFPB and leverage and risk-based capital requirements. The bill draws troubling parallels between S. 2155 — the 2018 Republican-led, financial industry-pushed, Trump-signed law that gutted Dodd-Frank’s risk-assessment safeguards for midsize banks which experts credit with recent failures among these institutions. By raising the threshold for enhanced prudential standards to $250 billion under the 2018 rollback law, mid-sized banks like Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were able to avoid any real consequences from federal regulators for taking huge risks they could not afford to lose. 

Rep. Barr’s bill drastically reducing the CFPB’s supervision reach is the latest favor to the financial industry that has invested over $6.8 million in his political career — and part of a long-running effort by conservatives in Congress to chip away at the CFPB in service to Wall Street, big banks, and predatory lenders. SEE: Accountable.US’ ‘MAGA Economics’ Profile for Rep. Andy Barr.

The recent bank failures stem directly from the Trump-era rollback of risk-assessment safeguards. But this right-wing deregulation disaster was apparently not on a grand enough scale for Rep. Andy Barr who now wants even fewer eyes on Wall Street. Limiting the CFPB’s supervision reach is part of the MAGA Majority’s plan to weaken the agency and let their industry donors do whatever they please no matter the cost to the financial system and consumers. Like Chairman Patrick McHenry, Rep. Barr has taken so much money from the financial industry he’s convinced himself that less regulation is the only answer when industry greed gets out of control and they make risky bets they can’t afford to lose.”

“The lesson Congress should take from the collapse of SVB, Signature Bank and First Republic is that more oversight and safeguards are needed to keep the financial system stable – not less,” added Zelnick.

Liz Zelnick, Director of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power.
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