Democrats split on rolling back Wall Street reform bill

UNITED STATES- MARCH 6 Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-Mass. holds a news conference in the Capitol on banking deregulation legislation on Tuesday

The bill has something for (and against) everyone, in part because there is much debate about how big is too big for a financial institution. They probably have outrage fatigue to thank for not getting greater pushback from their constituents, but it is still worth taking a look at some of the data points Democratic senators are using to justify their votes.

Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee. In her press conference she outlined those to be 1) consumers, 2) big bank gains from the bill, and 3) Congress' history of deregulation.

The bill would change the regulatory framework for small depository institutions with assets under $10 billion (community banks) and for large banks with assets over $50 billion, as well as revise consumer mortgage and credit-reporting regulations and the authorities of the agencies regulating the financial industry. A major feature of the bill is exempting about two dozen financial companies with assets between $50 billion and $250 billion from the highest levels of regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Reserve. After 18 months, those requirements would no longer apply to banks with assets ranging from $100 billion to $250 billion. That bracket includes operations like SunTrust and American Express. "This bill wouldn't be on the path to becoming law without the support of these Democrats", she wrote on Twitter. So House Republicans will be under pressure to acquiesce to a bill that can get through the Senate.

The Senate approved a procedural motion on a 67-to-32 vote and will move soon to formal debate on the bill, which could start immediately, if there is cooperation and agreement.

Not every Democrat is supporting the bill. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and a leading liberal who is a vocal critic of changing the law.

The CBO report says those exemptions make it more likely a bank would collapse and lead federal officials to stabilize it with public funds.

So who exactly will benefit from the bill? He says it's "a very modest recalibration that's going to help community banks and credit unions".

"This election has nothing to do with this", said Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana.

"I think if we miss this opportunity, it has dramatic negative impacts on rural America, and I've got to tell you we have enough challenges in rural America".

"The bottom line is that S. 2155 does not require the deregulation of foreign banks, but they will no doubt be deregulated, which will once again put US taxpayers on the hook for bailouts of foreign banks rather than the taxpayers of those foreign countries", he said.

Kansas Republican Jerry Moran told a story on the Senate floor about ranchers who lost their cattle in a fire and thus did not have collateral to get loans, even if their local bankers would have traditionally made the loan.

The rule would also relieve many banks of the responsibility of putting together so-called "living wills", or the plans that detail how a bank would dissolve, if it needed to, without dragging the economy down with it. "I want an open amendment process", she said.

"This legislative package demonstrates that this committee, and the Senate as a whole, has within itself the ability to break through gridlock and solve hard issues if we work together in good faith", Donnelly said during the banking committee's consideration in December. "We've seen the regulation bleed down".

Decide for yourself. Here's what's in Senate Bill 2155.

Proponents of the Dodd-Frank law have sharply criticized the bill, arguing it would weaken protections aimed at keeping the financial system safe from another crisis.

Warren said: "I don't understand how anyone regardless of political party could support a bill like that".

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