U.S. Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said they would push legislation that would overturn the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law approved by a Democrat-led Congress last year.
“This financial takeover will strangle our economy and move jobs overseas unless it is repealed,” Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina lawmaker who introduced the measure today, said in a statement.
The bill offered by DeMint, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, would set aside the regulatory overhaul that aims to make sweeping changes to oversight of derivatives, consumer lending and business practices at financial firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp.
Republican leaders, who opposed the legislation in Congress last year, are taking a variety of steps to force changes to the law as regulators implement its provisions. Some House Republicans have pushed for smaller changes, aiming to reshape or repeal single measures, as opposed to the entire law. Representative Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, introduced a bill similar to DeMint's in January.
DeMint's proposal is backed by McConnell of Kentucky and the rest of the Senate's Republican leadership, including Senator Richard Shelby, the Alabama lawmaker who is the party's ranking member on the Banking Committee.
Shelby “was the leading opponent of Dodd-Frank and absolutely supports legislation to repeal it,” Jonathan Graffeo, Shelby's spokesman, said today in an e-mail.
Republican efforts to overturn Dodd-Frank are likely to be opposed by the Senate's Democratic majority and would require approval by President Barack Obama, who proposed the regulatory overhaul in response to the 2008 credit crisis.
Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-wrote the law, said today in an interview that the real threat is to funding for agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission the and Securities and Exchange Commission as they draft and implement its rules.
“The threat we have is not that they would do this,” said Frank, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, referring to the repeal. “It's that they defund the SEC and the CFTC.”