On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee approved the Financial Choice Act, thus helping President Donald Trump move one step closer to his long-stated goal of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act. The bill now must be passed by the full House and Senate before becoming law.
The Choice Act—which stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs—is in some ways a repeal-and-replace initiative for the financial sector. For instance, the bill would do away with Title II of Dodd-Frank, the section that created the Orderly Liquidation provision and provides a government guided wind-down process for banks facing bankruptcy. In its place, Republicans would create a new section of the bankruptcy code specifically targeted at large financial institutions.
But overall, the Choice Act is heavier on repeal than it is on replace. The Act would do away with Title IV of Dodd-Frank, which gives the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) the ability to designate financial organizations as systemically important and impose more rules and regulations on them. The Act would also call for the dissolution of FSOC, repeal the portion of the law responsible for the Volcker Rule (which a major bank just got caught breaking for the first time), and kill the fiduciary rule once and for all. The bill would allow big banks to skip out on a slew of oversight they’re subject to now if they agree to hold high levels of capital. It would fundamentally change the role and scope of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, removing its authority to act upon practices it deems “unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts,” and making it subject to Congressional oversight—which would leave it vulnerable to being completely defunded in the future.