As I visit with our community, I encounter seasoned farmers and ranchers who proudly show me the worn tractors and combines that have served their families for years.
For these folks, access to credit and loans from community banks allowed them to buy this equipment, which is crucial to securing their livelihoods.
Community banks are being strangled by the overbearing regulations of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. In the past decade, several of Colorado’s small community banks have faced branch closures or buyouts by bigger banks because they can’t compete in this stifling regulatory environment.
We were promised that Dodd-Frank would regulate Wall Street. Instead, the law has let big banks grow bigger while killing over 1,700 community banks. In fact, only six new banks have been chartered nationwide since the passage of Dodd-Frank.
The institution Dodd-Frank set up to protect consumers, called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was ruled unconstitutional by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and is running amok without adequate oversight from the president or Congress.
Dodd-Frank has contributed to the tepid economic recovery our country has made since the Great Recession. It’s time to rein in Wall Street and empower the people.
That’s why I supported the Financial CHOICE Act, a bill that offers Colorado an antidote to Dodd-Frank’s poison. This medicine reforms the financial sector and helps middle class Americans in three key ways.
First, it holds Wall Street accountable for dangerous lending practices and enforces tough penalties for unethical choices. Through this law, we slap some of the toughest penalties in history against financial fraud. By increasing the fines and penalties for these practices, we hold the big banks accountable for their behavior — finally bringing these bad chickens home to roost. This act increases the penalty for insider trading and raises fines across the board. By boosting these fines, we’ll close the floodgates on Wall Street’s malicious and unfair practices.
Second, the CHOICE Act ends taxpayer-funded bailouts. It makes sure that if Wall Street makes these risky financial decisions, Americans won’t see their tax dollars spent to save the big banks.
The CHOICE Act creates a new chapter of the bankruptcy code that will hold banks accountable for their decisions. We want lower taxes instead of Wall Street bailouts. We deserve lower taxes instead of Wall Street bailouts.
Most importantly, the CHOICE Act will spur economic growth across the country. The CHOICE Act offers economic opportunity by increasing oversight on growth-killing over-regulators while making credit and capital more accessible.
Some folks are angry — and I get that, I do. They’re scared that relaxing regulations will lead us back to where things went so wrong nearly a decade ago. But, at the end of the day, we want smart regulation, not heavy-handed regulation.
By reworking the limitations on local banks, we make credit more accessible to all Americans, letting Coloradans get loans for everything from their small businesses to their cars and homes.
This act will prop up the community banks that were hurt so badly by Dodd-Frank. In turn, healthy community banks will create economic growth by increasing small business owners’ access to the loans that they can’t get from far-off bankers. By shifting financial centers from Wall Street back to Main Street, we can reinvigorate innovation across the nation.
The Financial CHOICE Act is a common-sense solution to the harm caused by Dodd-Frank’s failures. By increasing fines and penalties while also stopping taxpayer-funded bailouts, we can make sure that Coloradans stop paying for the mistakes of Wall Street bankers, federal regulators, and, ultimately, Congress.
My job is to hold our government accountable. The CHOICE Act does that. So does an amendment I offered to the bill. The CFPB spent over $200 million on lavish renovations of their Washington, D.C., headquarters. Under the CHOICE Act, their role and office space needs will be scaled down. My amendment sells the CFPB’s lavishly renovated offices if they’re not being used effectively. This effort passed the House with bipartisan support, ensuring that taxpayer dollars and federal buildings are used as efficiently as possible.
By cutting the regulations that have hurt so many during this weak recovery, we can let credit flow to those who need it, from the seasoned rancher to the budding businessman. That’s why I support the CHOICE Act — to strengthen Colorado and our nation.