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Facts on H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017

Recently, the House passed H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, legislation to amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – the most sweeping financial regulation of our time – to deliver meaningful relief to financial institutions and consumers across the nation.

To begin with, I’m incredibly pleased to see the House Financial Services Committee exercise regular order to advance the CHOICE ACT, a bill that underwent several Committee hearings and an extensive three-day markup process before it was brought to the House Floor for a vote.

In regards to the claim that this bill is a hand out to Wall Street, nothing speaks more to that point than the fact that the big banks on Wall Street – the main beneficiaries of Dodd-Frank – are staunchly opposed to this legislation.  It’s also ironic that the Members of Congress who are opposed to the CHOICE Act, are the same Members receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the big banks opposing this bill.  

Since Dodd-Frank’s implementation, community banks are closing on average of one per day, while big banks continue to grow.  As our community banks collapse, life has only gotten harder for families, veterans, and first-time homebuyers who are unable to get the support they need to get off the ground. 

The CHOICE Act is  common-sense. It’s an innovative approach to reforming our financial sector in a way that will help revive our economy, protect consumers, and get America back on track. Most importantly, it will save hardworking Americans billions of dollars by finally putting an end to “too big to fail” and abolishing taxpayer-funded bailouts – a strategy that Dodd-Frank actually endorsed. I’m pleased to see the House take swift action to pass this legislation, and hope that my colleagues in the Senate will follow our lead.  

Background on H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017: 

Reins in the unchecked authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

  • Brings CFPB under the authority of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • Subjects the CFPB to appropriations
  • Allows the director to be removed at will for any reason by the President 

Ends Taxpayer-funded bail outs

  • Repeals the Dodd-Frank established authority for the Treasury to use tax payer dollars to bail out wall street and big banks.
  • Replaces this with a new chapter of the Bankruptcy code which is structured to meet the needs of large financial institutions

Increases penalties for Wall Street bad actors and looks out for the average investor

  • Allows the SEC to triple its fines in administrative and civil litigation
  • Allows SEC to fine the ill-gained profits from fraud
  • SEC will be allowed to return the penalties to the victims instead of only to the Treasury
  • Allows SEC to charge fines commiserate with the size of consumer loss instead of one set fine for all

Increases access to capital 

  • Includes about 20 bills already passed through the House which make access to capital easier particularly for start-ups (H.R. 79, the Helping Angels Lead Our Start Ups Act is one of those bills).

Uplifts Community Banks and Credit Unions

  • Allows small banks and CUs to appeal bank exam decisions to an independent 3rd party
  • Carves small banks and CUs out of qualified mortgage rules
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