November 13, 2017

Senators Announce Agreement on Economic Growth Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Banking Committee members Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia), along with other senators, announced an agreement on legislative proposals to improve our nation’s financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth. Last spring, the Banking Committee issued a request for legislative proposals from stakeholders, companies and consumers aimed at creating economic growth. The Committee subsequently held a series of hearings exploring the proposals, and has been negotiating and drafting a reform package since that time.

The agreement includes measures from Committee members on both sides of the aisle and stakeholders. Legislative text is in the process of being finalized and will be released upon completion.

“A strong and vibrant economy is important for American consumers, businesses, and the stability of the financial sector,” said Chairman Crapo. “The bipartisan proposals on which we have agreed will significantly improve our financial regulatory framework and foster economic growth by right-sizing regulation, particularly for smaller financial institutions and community banks. I thank all of the senators who have joined with us to move this forward, and look forward to continuing our work to achieve a robust, bipartisan legislative product.”

“This bipartisan regulatory relief package is an example of what we can achieve when we work together, and the result of good-faith negotiations with Chairman Crapo, Senators Tester, Warner, and Heitkamp,” said Senator Donnelly. “The proposal would provide long-awaited regulatory relief to community banks and credit unions unintentionally burdened by rules intended to hold Wall Street accountable. This agreement would maintain the safety of our financial system and offer new protections to consumers, including veterans, by helping to protect their credit in the wake of recent data breaches, like the Equifax breach."

“Our bill is an example of how if Democrats and Republicans put partisanship aside and work together, we can reach real compromises that support the country,” said Senator Heitkamp. “Every day I come to work in the U.S. Senate, I’m fighting for rural America – and that’s what our bipartisan bill is about. It would provide needed relief to community banks and credit unions, so they can continue enabling small businesses to get financing to operate, helping farmers get loans to support their farms, and allowing families to buy homes in rural communities across our state. And it does all of this while strengthening protections for consumers. In the past 30 years, the number of community banks and credit unions have dropped by about two-thirds, yet more than 80 percent of North Dakota deposits still go to community banks, reinforcing that small financial institutions remain a key resource for North Dakota families. And with our bill, it will stay that way.”

“This bipartisan bill will strengthen Main Street in rural America by increasing access to capital, cutting burdensome regulation, and protecting consumers,” said Senator Tester. “We’ve seen rural communities dry up because entrepreneurs, farmers, and first-time homebuyers can’t access credit. And we’ve seen a one-size-fits all approach to our financial system that strangles economic growth in towns across country. This legislation makes sure families and small businesses in states like Montana can thrive. I want to thank Chairman Crapo and Senators Heitkamp, Donnelly and Warner for their hard work at the negotiating table and I look forward to building more support for this common sense bill.”

 “Today’s announcement is the result of years of tough, bipartisan negotiations,” said Senator Warner. “The goal is simple: to help Main Street by rolling back unnecessary and burdensome regulations on credit unions and small community banks while ensuring that large Wall Street banks remain subject to the rules I helped put in place after the financial crisis to prevent another meltdown. This proposal makes targeted, commonsense fixes that will provide tangible relief to the community banks that are lifelines for smaller and rural communities. It also strengthens protections for veterans, the elderly and other consumers, and encourages community-based lending to boost economic growth and create jobs.”

The package is targeted toward helping community banks, credit unions, mid-sized banks, regional banks and custody banks. It includes important consumer protections, particularly for veterans, senior citizens and victims of fraud.  

Original co-sponsors:

Republicans: Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).

Democrats: Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and Gary Peters (D-Michigan).

Highlights of the agreed-upon package include:

  • Improves consumer access to mortgage credit;
  • Provides regulatory relief for small financial institutions and protects consumer access to credit;
  • Provides specific protections for veterans, consumers and homeowners; and
  • Tailors regulations for banks to better reflect their business models.

For a section-by-section summary, click here