In June 2016, House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), introduced HR 5983, known as the Financial CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs), which is an alternative to Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
The CHOICE Act sets out to give banks the option for relief from certain regulations if they meet a predetermined threshold. The Act will also eliminate the government’s power to designate firms as “systemically important” and make wholesale reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including replacing its director with a five-member bipartisan commission.
Republicans are generally in support of the Act, claiming it will provide “growth for all, bailouts for none,” while Democrats have dubbed the proposal the “Wrong Choice Act.”
In committee markup September 13, the CHOICE Act passed by a vote of 30 to 26, almost split down the party line. No Democrats voted in favor of the Act and no amendments were proposed by Democrats on the basis that the Act “is so bad that it simply cannot be fixed.”
“This markup is not a serious attempt to move thoughtful legislation, evidenced by the fact that we only had one hearing on one portion of the bill. It’s clear that this is a rushed, partisan messaging tool, though why anyone would want to push legislation to deregulate Wall Street at a time like this is beyond me,” Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-California) said during the markup. “So let’s not waste any more time on this. Democrats will not offer any amendments, and we move to dispense with this political theater.”
All Republicans who voted except for one, Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), voted in favor of the Act. Three Republican voters did not take part in the markup. The CHOICE Act is likely to be put to a full House vote, according to The Wall Street Journal, but is unlikely to gain footing through Congress, and even less likely to pass President Obama, who has vowed to veto any attempt to roll back Dodd-Frank.