McConnell Downplays Chances of Senate Dodd-Frank Repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he’s doubtful the Senate will act on a comprehensive repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law because of objections from Democrats.

McConnell told Bloomberg TV  that he would “love to revisit Dodd-Frank” but that “there are enough Democrats to keep us from reforming” the law.

“I would love to do it — it would require some Democratic involvement in order to achieve a statutory change in the Senate,” McConnell said.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, backed up McConnell in comments to reporters later on Tuesday. He reiterated his pledge that Banking Committee efforts on regulatory issues will be based on efforts to stimulate economic growth, rather than starting from the principle of repealing Dodd-Frank.

Crapo, however, did say he thinks the Senate could work on piecemeal statutory changes that are relatively non-controversial. That means contentious issues such as an overhaul of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — which Dodd-Frank established — are probably off the table.

“As you move through the other parts of Dodd-Frank, there are pieces like community banks and credit union issues where we have broad bipartisan agreement,” Crapo said. “We’re looking beyond just Dodd-Frank, at all aspects of our regulatory environment and our statutory environment to see where we can improve and strengthen markets and of the economy. And Dodd-Frank is a part of that.”

In his Bloomberg interview, McConnell mentioned community banks’ push for Dodd-Frank changes. Democrats should want to come to the table because they are receiving similar pressure from community banking groups in their states, he added.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the panel’s ranking Democrat, rebuked that suggestion in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“If this were really about community banks, we might have come to an agreement years ago,” Brown said. “But Republicans are once again using them as leverage to help a rogue’s gallery of special interests.”

McConnell’s remarks come as the House inches closer to considering H.R. 10, the House leadership’s favored Dodd-Frank replacement plan. A spokesman for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the bill’s author, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Morning Consult