Politics

House Democrats Go to the Mat for Dodd-Frank

Minority party questions whether Trump would benefit from gutting law

Maxine Waters is helping lead the defense of Dodd-Frank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With their Senate colleagues on the front lines of opposing President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominations, House Democrats are digging in for an extended fight over the president’s executive actions, in particular his targeting of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.

Starting over the weekend and continuing into Monday, House Democrats are defending a statute they say is key to protecting Main Street from Wall Street excesses.

“When you talk about deregulation, we’re talking about getting rid of consumer protection,” California’s Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said on Monday.

Republicans, led by Trump, don’t agree. At Friday’s Oval Office ceremony of executive directives, the president was joined by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., a critic of the law, among others.

Two actions were signed: One focused on the fiduciary rule aimed at curbing conflicts of interest among financial advisers and the second on the “core principles for regulating the United States financial system,” Trump said.

Wagner beamed. “What we’re doing is we are returning to the American people, low- and middle- income investors, and retirees, their control of their own retirement savings, this is about Main Street and it’s been a labor of love for me,” Wagner said.

The memo will target regulations put in place by Dodd-Frank, which Spicer said failed to address the true causes of last decade’s financial crisis.

House Democrats, to put it mildly, disagree, and they took a swipe at Trump to make their point.

“The president is undermining the financial security of working families while there is no transparency about how his own businesses would benefit from his new executive order,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

Pelosi touted the law as a the enacted of the “strongest Wall street consumer financial protections in history.” Those sentiments were seconded by Waters at a press event on Monday the Democrats hosted.

“These directives show once and for all that when push comes to shove Donald Trump will always put the interest of his pals on Wall Street over the interest of the American people,” Waters said.

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer also weighed in.

"Not only does this executive order put our financial system, investors, and consumers at risk, but it also injects additional uncertainty into our economy, which is not good for businesses," Hoyer said in a statement.

John T. Bennett and Doug Sword contributed to this report.

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