Washington, D.C. – The Great Recession dealt a blow to our economy from which we still haven’t fully recovered. Many of you have lost jobs, homes, and savings in the devastating aftermath of the financial crisis. In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act attempted to protect Americans from financial fraud by “being tough” on Wall Street while giving small community banks a chance to compete. In practice, however, Dodd-Frank accomplished the exact opposite through a misguided approach that conferred upon the federal government unprecedented regulatory powers and dramatically slowed our Nation’s economic recovery.
Big banks are growing bigger, while local banks are being regulated out of existence. In fact, we lose an average of one credit union or community bank every single day. Because of Dodd-Frank, government bailouts are business as usual and there is limited access to banking services. Fewer banks offer free checking accounts and more are requiring minimum balances. The so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has expanded far beyond its scope to become a largely unchecked and unaccountable bureaucracy. All of these factors add up to an ineffective, wasteful, and expensive drain on the American people.
Georgia, in particular, lost more banks than any other state, and there are still 47 Georgia counties with no community bank and three without any bank branch at all! Limited local financial institutions mean that small businesses and families can’t get the loans they need, which hurts our economy from the ground up. Dodd-Frank has enacted 400 new rules, and not surprisingly, this overregulation has slowed growth at every level.
It’s time for a change, and that’s why I voted this week in favor of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act. The bill accomplishes what Dodd-Frank failed to do by prioritizing and protecting Main Street above Wall Street. The CHOICE Act rolls back some of Dodd-Frank’s most oppressive regulations, which will help our job creators unleash their potential and be a boon to our local economy. It puts an end to taxpayer-funded bailouts for big banks, while imposing the toughest penalties for financial fraud in American history. And perhaps most importantly, the CBO estimates that this bill will cut the national deficit by $24 billion.
The Financial CHOICE Act delivers effective changes to provide real relief to the small businesses, banks, and credit unions that have been stifled by the burdensome regulations instated by Dodd-Frank and the Obama Administration. Simply put, we need government to get out of the way so that hardworking Americans can reach their goals without being hindered at every step. The CHOICE Act achieves that and is just one more way that Republicans are working to provide regulatory relief to the American people.