Late Wednesday, the Senate passed S. 2155, or the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, by a vote of 67-31. 

Now that it has passed, the bill returns to the House for approval.

The bill contains policies rolling back certain key parts from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill would allow some smaller and mid-sized banks to omit their cash balances held at the Federal Reserve and other central banks when calculating their supplementary leverage ratio, or what determines how much capital they need to hold.

The Senate spent the first part of this week working through the bill sorting through the more than 100 proposed amendments. While the final vote was originally expected last week, it was pushed back to this week in order to consider the amendments. The bill, which aims to ease regulations on small banks, was sponsored by Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, with nearly 20 bipartisan co-sponsors, and was introduced in the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens released a statement applauding the work of Sen. Crapo and the bipartisan coalition of senators who worked to ensure passage of the bill.

“I want to commend Chairman Crapo and the bipartisan coalition of senators that worked for months to ensure the passage of this important piece of legislation. This bill will further ensure consumer protections and adequate access to mortgage credit. Specific mortgage related portions of the bill include: SAFE Act amendments which provide mortgage loan originators with 120 days of transitional authority to originate when moving from a federal depository to a non-bank (or across state lines), Subjecting Property Assessed Clean Lending (PACE) or property retrofit loans to Truth In Lending Act consumer protections, critical consumer protections to U.S. veterans who use the VA Home Loan program, clarifying the High Volatility Commercial Real Estate rule to help promote sustainable construction and development, and targeted TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure fixes. MBA now calls on the House to swiftly take up this bill for consideration,” Stevens said.

House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., issued a statement in response to the bill’s passage, calling out the removal of consumer protections that were put in place after the financial crisis:

“As I have said before, this bill repackages harmful provisions from Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s Wrong Choice Act, and removes key consumer protections put in place following the financial crisis. It takes our financial system in the wrong direction, and serves as a giveaway to banks that are already posting record profits," Waters statement read.

"To make matters worse, Chairman Hensarling has indicated that he believes the bill doesn’t go far enough, and is demanding that the Senate pack this already bad bill with even more harmful bills. Among other things, those bills would allow payday lenders to evade state interest caps, force regulators to loosen rules that the financial services industry considers inconvenient, and weaken stress tests for megabanks," the statement continued. 

Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, celebrated the passage, tweeting a video:

Camden Fine, president of Independent Community Bankers also praised the vote’s passage, tweeting:

 

This is a developing story. More details to follow. 

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