Washington D.C. – “Kind of a distraction” is what U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) calls the bipartisan Recovering Executive Compensation from Unaccountable Practices (RECOUP) Act that advanced in the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. The bill protects taxpayers by establishing anti-platinum-parachute measures for senior executives of failed banks, yet Barr reportedly believes it’s “best for the private sector to make decisions on pay” – a view likely influenced by the over $1.1 million Barr received from the commercial banking industry. Barr is a prominent MAGA member of the House Financial Services Committee and enthusiastic financial industry apologist.
The bipartisan effort comes after CEOs of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic enjoyed millions of dollars in bonuses before their banks collapsed – undeserved compensation which they have since refused to return. Experts have blamed these bank failures on the 2018 Republican-led, Andy Barr-endorsed, financial industry-pushed, Trump-signed law that gutted Dodd-Frank’s risk-assessment safeguards for mid size institutions, which gave banks like SVB the green light to take gambles they could not afford to lose.
Defending multi-million-dollar bonuses of failed banking executives is a job few in Congress wanted, but MAGA Rep. Andy Barr eagerly volunteered for,” said Liz Zelnick, Accountable.Us’ Director Of Economic Security And Corporate Power. “In good times or bad, banks can always count on Rep. Barr to carry their water for them after all the campaign checks he’s cashed. Average Americans often get hurt when financial industry greed and risky behavior goes bust, but Andy Barr is OK with that so long as CEOs land comfortably with their platinum parachutes.
Republicans in Congress like Andy Barr who gutted Dodd-Frank safeguards and invited banks to take risks beyond their means should be helping clean up the mess they made,” added Zelnick. “That includes keeping CEOs from getting richer at others’ expense when their greed runs things into the ground – and that doesn’t include even laxer industry oversight as many in the MAGA House majority propose. No matter how much money these Republicans have taken from the banking industry, it’s not worth protecting the status quo that incentivizes industry executives to take gambles they cannot afford to lose at the risk of taxpayers and the financial system.”
Rep. Barr has not only defended the 2018 Dodd-Frank rollback that paved the way for the rash of recent bank failures, he recently introduced a bill that invites even more Silicon Valley Bank-like overreach and instability in the financial system by expanding 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. Rep. Barr’s bill that drastically reduced 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.