In New Congress, Wall St. Pushes to Undermine Dodd-Frank Reform
January 14, 2015, 3:00am

In New Congress, Wall St. Pushes to Undermine Dodd-Frank Reform

WASHINGTON — In the span of a month, the nation’s biggest banks and investment firms have twice won passage of measures to weaken regulations intended to help lessen the risk of another financial crisis, setting their sights on narrow, arcane provisions and greasing their efforts with a surge of lobbying and campaign contributions.

The continuing assault on the 2010 Dodd-Frank law has achieved remarkable success, especially compared with the repeated failures of opponents of another 2010 law, the Affordable Care Act.

The financial industry has been methodical, drafting technically complicated legislation that can pass the heavily Republican House with a few Democratic votes. And then, once approved, Wall Street has pushed to tack such measures on to larger bills considered too important for the White House to block.

The House was back at it this week. Lawmakers approved by a vote of 250 to 175, with just eight Democrats in support, a broad measure to impose a variety of new restrictions on federal regulators, like stricter cost-benefit analyses and an expansion of judicial review. That measure would affect every regulatory agency, be it the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the century-old Food and Drug Administration. And like past attacks on the health care law, it has little chance of overcoming a threat of a presidential veto.