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Brown, Waters Oppose Efforts to Gut Wall Street Reform Via Funding Bills

Top Committee Democrats: Wells Fargo Scandal Underscores Need for Congressional Leaders to Reject Policy Riders Aimed at Weakening Financial and Consumer Protections

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Washington, November 17, 2016 | comments
The leading Democrats on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees today urged Congressional leaders to reject any attempts to use must-pass government funding legislation to repeal, weaken, or delay financial reforms and consumer protections.

In a letter to Senate and House leaders, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said they will oppose ideological policy riders to year-end funding legislation aimed at rolling back protections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law.

“Given the recent scandal at Wells Fargo, where the banks’ employees were under pressure from bank management to open as many customer accounts as possible, it’s clear that our financial markets need stronger rules and oversight, not less,” the lawmakers wrote. “We remain opposed to efforts to include any provisions that repeal, undermine, or delay consumer or investor protections, or deregulate our financial system in any end-of-the-year funding legislation.”

Brown and Waters noted that the Senate Banking Committee has not marked up a single piece of legislation this year. They stressed that jamming complex financial services bills through the appropriations process without appropriate Committee consideration is “fraught with risk and should not be an acceptable solution for a Committee’s refusal to act.”

The full text of the letter is below:

November 17, 2016

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 
Majority Leader 
U.S. Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20510 

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Harry Reid 
Minority Leader 
United States Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20510 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Reid, Speaker Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi:

We appreciate your continued work to fund the government. While we are opposed to the inclusion of all inappropriate and ideological policy riders to year-end funding legislation, as the Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Financial Services, we are particularly concerned about the inclusion of policy riders related to issues under the jurisdiction of our Committees.

Specially, Congress must not include in end-of-year funding legislation any riders designed to repeal, undermine, or delay any provisions of Wall Street reform, including those targeted at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, altering the bankruptcy code for financial institutions, changing our housing finance system, preventing the Securities and Exchange Commission from moving forward with rulemaking to require disclosure of political campaign spending, or other similar roll-backs.

During the second session of this Congress, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has not held a single legislative markup. Committees have a responsibility to thoroughly consider legislation, build consensus, and move it through the Committee. Given the lack of legislative action by the Committee, it would be irresponsible for you to use the appropriations process as a replacement for Committee consideration of legislation through regular order. Financial services issues are extremely technical, highly complicated and can have serious repercussions for the economy, the financial markets, and consumers. Moving such legislation on an appropriations bill without appropriate Committee consideration is fraught with risk and should not be an acceptable solution for a Committee’s refusal to act.

There are important issues facing our nation’s consumers and financial institutions. Wall Street Reform was Congress’ response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It has strengthened our nation’s financial stability and provided much-needed consumer protections to millions of American families. Given the recent scandal at Wells Fargo, where the banks’ employees were under pressure from bank management to open as many customer accounts as possible, it’s clear that our financial markets need stronger rules and oversight, not less. We remain opposed to efforts to include any provisions that repeal, undermine, or delay consumer or investor protections, or deregulate our financial system in any end-of-the-year funding legislation.

Sincerely,


Sherrod Brown 
Ranking Member 
U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, U.S. House of Representatives

Maxine Waters
Ranking Member
Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Financial Services

cc:
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Thad Cochran
Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski
House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers
House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey
Senate FSGG Subcommittee Chair John Boozman
Senate FSGG Subcommittee Ranking Member Chris Coons
House FSGG Subcommittee Chair Ander Crenshaw
House FSGG Subcommittee Ranking Member Jose Serrano

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