Merkley Statement on House Passage of Bank Deregulation Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a deregulatory banking bill that rolls back key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Senate previously considered and passed the bill in March.

“Working Americans have not forgotten what happens when banks write their own rules, and neither should we. Not so long ago, millions of Americans lost their homes, jobs, and savings because big banks were allowed to police themselves. However, the devastating impact of the Great Recession on consumers was completely forgotten in the drafting of this bill.

“One of the terrible provisions 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 lending 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 faced by minorities communities 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. At a time when banks’ profits are at record high levels, there is no rationale for a bill that rolls back Wall Street reform. I have done 351 town halls in Oregon and never once has a constituent asked me to give Wall Street bankers another chance to gamble with their homes and jobs. Congress should work for working families, but once again the powerful special interests win and ordinary Americans lose.”