In the background of the hubbub surrounding the testimony of the former FBI Director James Comey, House Republicans voted on Thursday to repeal key provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Financial CHOICE Act, which represents another step toward rolling back Obama-era regulations that the Republican Party sees as anathema to economic growth, passed by a 233-186 vote almost entirely along party lines. (One Republican, Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against the bill, while no Democrats voted in favor.)
If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the CHOICE Act would undo a number of Dodd-Frank’s key provisions. First, it would significantly weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Dodd-Frank established in 2011, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by allowing the president to fire their heads at will. It would also rein in key oversight provisions introduced by Dodd-Frank, including exempting some banks from restrictions intended to limit risk-taking in the financial sector and replacing Dodd-Frank’s orderly liquidation authority, which provides a framework for large, systemically-important institutions to unload troubled assets. Finally, it would follow through on President Trump’s February executive order calling for eliminating the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, parts of which go into effect on June 9 and which requires financial advisors to act in the best financial interests of their clients in any matter related to retirement.