House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling talked about the fifth anniversary of the "job-destroying" Dodd-Frank law and the GOP's goal of purging it from Washington's books in the latest GOP weekly address.
"If we want strong economic growth, more freedom and an end to bailouts, it's time we commit to making sure this anniversary is Dodd-Frank's last," the Texas Republican said. "House Republicans are working to do just that. Together, we can end Wall Street bailouts, have a healthier economy, and protect consumer choice."
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Passed in 2010, Dodd-Frank was intended to provide a boost to the economy following the Great Recession through reforms to the nation's financial system, including Wall Street. Critics, a group that includes both Republicans and Democrats, have said the law is not working
In his Saturday address, Hensarling called the law "Obamacare for our economy."
"Five years ago this week President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Act," he said. "You may not have heard of Dodd-Frank, but it's essentially Obamacare for our economy and your household finances.
"And just like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank has left us with fewer choices, higher costs and less freedom."
The 2008 financial crisis and the recession that came after that affected millions of Americans, Hensarling said. But the Dodd-Frank legislation was not the answer, added the representative from Texas' 5th district.
"But in typical Washington fashion, Democrats instead by passing a 2,300-page bill that did not solve the crisis but in my ways made it worse," he said. "When President Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law five years ago with much fanfare and celebration, we were told it would 'lift the economy,' 'end too big to fail,' and 'increase financial stability.' It didn't happen.
"But, Dodd-Frank did nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were at the epicenter of the crisis. It enshrined taxpayer-funded bailouts and 'too big to fail' into law, and it imposed 400 new burdensome, job-destroying regulations upon our economy."
Hensarling argued that "big banks have gotten bigger and the small banks are now fewer."
"It's no wonder that small business deaths outnumber small business births for the first time in 35 years," he said.
Hensarling, who took office in 2003, said Dodd-Frank's regulations have led to higher bank fees, which he claims has led to many low- and moderate-income Americans electing not to open checking or savings accounts.
"It is evident that Dodd-Frank has made us less prosperous and less free," Hensarling said. "It has meant lost opportunities and frustrated dreams for millions hoping to start a small business, buy a home or plan for a secure retirement.
"If we want strong economic growth, more freedom and an end to bailouts, it's time we commit to making sure this anniversary is Dodd-Frank's last anniversary."
In an opinion piece for Your Houston News this week, Eric Sandberg
, president and CEO of the Texas Bankers Association, argued that Dodd-Frank has led to "the death of community banks while Wall Street's 'too big to fail' banks continue to thrive. Even Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein stated publicly in 2010 that his firm would 'be among the biggest beneficiaries of reform.'"
Republican lawmakers continue to work toward changing the law, Hensarling said earlier this week.
"Now we have a five-year record ... I think there's a growing awareness among our constituents that this isn't working," Hensarling said, The Hill
reports. "There are major elements of Dodd-Frank that need to be replaced."
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