Merkley Decries Senate Bank Deregulation Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Senate voted to bring a banking deregulation bill to the floor for consideration.

The bill rolls back key aspects of the 2010 Wall Street reform law; increases the chance of future taxpayer-funded bailouts, as analyzed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It creates new loopholes in the Volcker Rule, a provision Senator Merkley championed to shut down the high-risk Wall Street derivatives casino that contributed to the 2007 crash.

“Working Americans have not forgotten what happens when banks write their own rules, and neither should we. It was not so long ago when millions of Americans lost their homes, their jobs, and their savings because we allowed big banks to police themselves. Has the Senate forgotten so soon?

“A terrible provision in this bill allows small community banks to start trading derivatives – big bets on the future price of stocks, securities, and currency. It makes no sense to have shut down the Wall Street Casino only to reopen casinos in our community banks.

“This bill also opens the door to predatory practices in the manufactured and modular homes industry – enabling corporations to prey on some of the most vulnerable working Americans.

“And it weakens requirements that help fight discrimination in the home mortgage market. This is completely unacceptable.

“The bottom line is that this bill takes us backward — in a direction that the vast majority of Americans disagree with. Working Americans have never asked for higher bank profits that come at the expense of consumer protections and taxpayer-funded bailouts. The Senate should scrap this misguided piece of legislation and start over with a bill that puts consumers and working Americans first.”