Update (03/06): Despite a recent CBO report finding that S. 2155 would increase the chances of banks collapsing due to decreased oversight, the bill is moving forward with bipartisan support from up to 17 Senate Democrats and Independents. The bill is expected to come to the floor for a vote this week.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, S. 2155, is a sneaky rollback of regulations of "too big to fail" financial institutions put in place after the global financial crisis. Current Dodd-Frank regulations require banks valued at 50 billion or more to undergo annual "stress tests" and be closely monitored, but if S. 2155 becomes law that threshold will increase to $250 billion. Other troubling provisions of this bill include allowing banks valued at $10 billion or less to sell high-risk mortgages, exempting those same banks from the Volcker Rule prohibiting them from participating in financially risky activities, and allowing hedge funds to share the name of banks as a way of enticing investors to uninsured investment funds.
Although there are a few pro-consumer provisions like free credit freezing, protections for veterans, and safeguards for foreclosure victims, the overall effect of the bill is to encourage the banking industry to resume the kind of risky profiteering that created the global financial crisis of the last decade. While this law purports to support the community banking industry, this supposedly beleaguered sector has seen significant growth under current regulations, indicating that further deregulation is not needed or helpful. S. 2155 is an unnecessary and dangerous rollback of regulations on the banking industry.
Who To Call: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling to express my opposition to S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. It's irresponsible to roll back regulations that protect consumers and banks from risky investments that nearly brought down economy a decade ago. I urge the senator to vote against this legislation.
Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
This call is adapted from 5calls.org.