The New York Times | May 22, 2018
By Alan Rappeport and Emily Fliter

A decade after the global financial crisis tipped the United States into a recession, Congress agreed on Tuesday to free thousands of small and medium-sized banks from strict rules that had been enacted as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to prevent another meltdown.

In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, the House voted 258-159 to approve a regulatory rollback that passed the Senate this year, handing a significant victory to President Trump, who has promised to “do a big number on Dodd-Frank.”

The bill stops far short of unwinding the toughened regulatory regime put in place to prevent the nation’s biggest banks from engaging in risky behavior, but it represents a substantial watering down of Obama-era rules governing a large swath of the banking system. The legislation will leave fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to stricter federal oversight, freeing thousands of banks with less than $250 billion in assets from a post-crisis crackdown that they have long complained is too onerous.

Republican lawmakers and the banking industry cheered a measure they said would help unshackle banks — and the economy — from regulatory burdens.


To those who lived through the financial crisis, the deregulatory efforts have prompted concern.

Sarah Bloom Raskin, who was deputy Treasury Secretary during the Obama administration, said she was worried about the cumulative effect of the Trump administration’s deregulatory efforts. She said that there has been a troubling lack of economic analysis about the policies that are being put in place.

“Overall resilience is being weakened in unexamined ways,” Ms. Raskin said.

Senior White House officials said after the bill passed that they hoped to get it to Mr. Trump’s desk for signing before Memorial Day. While they would not say that it fulfilled the president’s promise of repealing Dodd-Frank, they called it an important step toward ridding the economy of regulations that have held back growth.