Mitch McConnell (R-KY) isn’t even technically the Senate majority leader yet, but he’s already put a new target in his crosshairs: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
In a press conference last week, McConnell said “The [Senate] Banking Committee is certainly going to be taking a look at Dodd-Frank … I’ve called it frequently ‘Obamacare for banks,” the Huffington Post reported.
“The big guys are doing just fine under Dodd-Frank. The community bankers are struggling,” McConnell continued. “I do think the Banking Committee will want to take a look at how much damage it’s done to the little guys who had nothing whatsoever to do with the meltdown in 2008.”
It’s no secret that McConnell is a Wall Street Republican to the core. As HuffPo pointed out, he voted to repeal Glass-Steagall, voted to bail out big banks in 2008 and to release additional bailout funds the next year. And, of course, he voted against Dodd-Frank in 2010.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, this election cycle McConnell raised $6.4 million from the financial sector, more than double what he raised from any other industry. CRP also found that six of 10 biggest donors to McConnell’s campaign committees and leadership PAC included the Blackstone Group, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup.
While it’s true that many small banks are struggling, Dodd-Frank isn’t the cause. The average American is still struggling, as is the economy, meaning that small banks don’t have the same opportunities to make money from good loans as the big banks do.
“Community banks are exempt from or irrelevant to most of Dodd-Frank’s rules,” said HuffPo. “Small banks don’t trade derivatives, so they aren’t subject to the most complicated elements of that reform. They don’t have proprietary trading operations, so they aren’t subject to the Volcker Rule. They aren’t subject to the more stringent capital requirements designated for big banks … they don’t even get inspected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
In his remarks last week, McConnell offered no specific details on financial policies, but his assertion that, under Dodd-Frank, little banks must be suffering if big banks are doing okay isn’t accurate, and the notion that the GOP is going to protect the little guy is ridiculous. This is just an attempt to let the big financial institutions have free reign over the market again, hidden under the guise of trying to help out struggling local banks.