The Financial Choice Act: Empowering Americans
This week, the House will consider H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, legislation introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling. This bill will replace the misguided and overly burdensome regulations created by the Dodd-Frank Act, which have resulted in significant cost increases and restricted capital access for consumers and American business owners. The CHOICE Act will protect American consumers, investors and entrepreneurs – pushing for smarter regulations that promote, not stifle, economic growth. By taking up the Financial CHOICE Act, the House can continue to hold Wall Street accountable without jeopardizing access to capital for American homeowners and entrepreneurs.
The Dodd-Frank Act contained more rules and regulations than any other Obama-era bill – including Obamacare. Because of Dodd-Frank’s excessive regulations, Americans have been burdened with higher costs and more paperwork. For example, before the Dodd-Frank Act became law in 2010, 75 percent of banks offered free checking accounts, but by 2016, only 38 percent did so. Under Dodd-Frank, bank fees and mortgage fees have increased; big banks have become even bigger, driving smaller community banks out of business; and higher lending costs have further slowed economic recovery, resulting in the slowest and weakest economic recovery in 70 years. According to the House Committee on Financial Services, we lose one community bank or credit union per day. The Financial CHOICE Act protects these smaller institutions, which is why all 50 states have banking institutions which have endorsed the Financial CHOICE Act, including the Tennessee Bankers Association.
The Financial CHOICE Act will end the days of bailouts for big banks, and open up capital investment opportunities for small businesses and startups. As we continue to recover from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, we should be encouraging American entrepreneurs to create businesses and jobs, not pushing regulations that restrict access to the capital needed to start and grow a business.
Further, the Financial CHOICE Act ensures Wall Street and Washington are held accountable by imposing the toughest penalties in history for financial fraud by increasing the maximum criminal fines for individuals and firms that partake in insider trading and other corrupt practices. This legislation will also allow the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to triple the monetary fines in certain cases where the penalties are tied to the defendant’s illegal profits. Proper oversight is vital to protecting consumers, but Dodd-Frank was not the answer. It transferred power to financial regulators and away from consumers, and the Financial CHOICE Act returns the power to Americans to make decisions based on their needs and the needs of their families.
This plan is better for Americans in every way by allowing more choices for consumers; better options when it comes to credit; and expanded access to products and services consumers want and need.
I am proud to support this instrumental piece of legislation which protects consumers, creates more accountability and transparency in Wall Street and Washington, empowers all Americans to achieve financial independence and creates more opportunities for small business owners, innovators, and job creators.As always, feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family.