Congressman Barney Frank released the following statement today clarifying a comment he made during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the more than $3 billion trading loss by JPMorgan Chase.
I said during the hearing today, in a discussion of the consolidation of agencies overseeing the banking industry, that “I am aware of no proposal that came from either side to go beyond where we already were” in 2010 during the conference committee for the financial reform law. At the time, we had already agreed to consolidate the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Since making that statement I have been made aware that there was a proposal during the conference by Congresswoman Judy Biggert, which would have further consolidated the bank regulators and eliminated the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. What I should have said today was that there was no serious proposal by my Republican colleagues to further consolidate the agencies. No amendments to that effect were offered during the committee markup or on the House floor, and the proposal offered in conference was a short three paragraph “conceptual” statement. If the amendment offered was a serious and not merely a conceptual one, it would have included specific language.
Now that my Republican colleagues are in the majority, they have made no attempt to pursue further consolidation in any form. This follows a pattern that we have seen before, particularly in their loud and repeated insistence, when they were in the minority, of the need for legislation to overhaul or abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now that my Republican colleagues are in the majority and have the power to do what they had proclaimed to be a very high priority, they have failed to pass a bill to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When they are in the minority and thus can’t control the legislative process they know exactly what to do; when they are in the majority and have the power to do what they want they do nothing.