Members of the 112th Congress were sworn in just days ago, and already lawmakers are making big waves. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican from the state of Minnesota in her third term, introduced legislation Thursday that would repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that was signed into law just six months ago.
Dodd-Frank calls for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set tighter regulations for mortgage lending and servicing, and it outlines new secondary market requirements intended to curb risk-taking by mortgage lenders. The bill has been hailed as the most far-reaching piece of financial reform since the Great Depression, and though when it was passed, Democrats held the majority in Congress, it was touted as a bipartisan effort.
In a statement issued to the press, Rep. Bachmann said, “I’m pleased to offer a full repeal of the job-killing Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill. Dodd-Frank grossly expanded the federal government beyond its jurisdictional boundaries. It gave Washington bureaucrats the power to interpret and enforce the legislation with little oversight.”
Bachmann continued, “Dodd-Frank also failed to address the taxpayer-funded liabilities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Real financial regulatory reform must deal with these lenders who were a leading cause of our economic recession.”
Bachmann said she is “proud to work towards repeal of Dodd-Frank because Congress must protect the taxpayers, instead of handing out favors to Wall Street.”
Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts was one of Dodd-Frank’s principal sponsors. He immediately issued a scathing response, rebuking Bachmann’s move itself as a favor to Wall Street stemming from her “deep concern for protecting…financial institutions.”
“Michele Bachmann…and others in the right-wing coalition have now made their agenda for the financial sector very clear: they yearn to return to the thrilling days of yesteryear, so the loan arrangers can ride again – untrammeled by any rules restraining irresponsibility, excess, deception, and most of all, infinite leverage,” Frank said.
“Now that we have put in place a set of rules that allow financial markets to function but which also curb their excesses, Representative Bachmann and her allies want to reintroduce uncertainty by going back to exactly the situation that led to the financial crisis in the first place.