News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend, 

After our nation’s financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, promising Americans an end to government-funded bailouts, improvement to consumer protections, and a stronger economy. Unfortunately, Dodd-Frank was just another empty promise from Washington and the financial institutions on Main Street have paid the price.

Since the financial crisis, banks have closed over 10,000 branches, an average of 
three a day.

Minnesota has not been exempted from this downward spiral.  In just 15 years, our state lost 35% of its community banks and our state continues to experience a drought in new bank charters today.

One small community bank in Rockford, Minnesota, rather than adding another lender to their team, just hired a full-time compliance officer.

Instead of using valuable resources to grow in ways that would benefit the local community, that same bank has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars being used to comply with government regulations.

Credit unions have also been hit hard by overregulation. In Minnesota they have incurred over $102 million in costs directly related to the increased regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act.

What a waste.

When I came to Washington, bringing relief to these small community banks and credit unions was at the top of my list. These regulations were ultimately punishing the consumer, not Wall Street banks. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I supported H.R. 10, the Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act also known as the Financial CHOICE Act in an effort to unwind the regulatory and financial mess that is Dodd-Frank. It passed the House last year.

Learn more about the CHOICE Act here.

This week, Congress is set to take a step forward in the right direction. Building on the House’s CHOICE Act, the Senate is taking up legislation in a similar effort to bring much-needed relief to midsize and main street financial institutions. As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board writes:

"The Senate this week will debate a bipartisan bill that would relax some of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law’s blunderbuss regulations… The law enshrined too-big-to-fail while writing vague language that has led to hundreds of new rules, some measuring thousands of pages, that are the bane of small lenders and their customers… While J.P. Morgan and Citigroup can afford to hire hundreds of compliance officers, Dodd-Frank’s burdens handicap smaller competitors..."

Currently, language from my Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act (HMDAA) is included in the Senate package and it is imperative for Minnesotans and all Americans that it remains. The HMDAA bill received support from both sides of the aisle, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, and the Independent Community Bankers of America. (ICYMI: I spoke with the Wall Street Journal on this bill. Read here.) 

HMDAA corrects a misguided, ineffective “double the data” rule the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau applied to small banks and credit unions, resulting in less Americans being approved for credit, loans and mortgages. Whether it’s owning a home or starting your own business, every American has a right to their American Dream.   

I am so glad to see my counterparts in the Senate taking steps to support main street banks and credit unions and you, the consumer. This step toward rectifying a harmful regulatory environment for our community financial institutions is paramount. Look for updates on the Senate’s vote by following me on Twitter and Facebook.



Additional resources:

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act is H.R. 2954. Click here to read the full text.

The Financial Choice Act is H.R. 10, Congressman Emmer is a cosponsor. Click here to read the full text.

Congressman Emmer is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and spoke on the House Floor during debate of the Financial CHOICE Act. Click here to view video.

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