The House on Wednesday easily passed legislation to ease some of the banking regulations adopted after the financial crisis, with 29 Democrats shrugging off President Obama's veto threat to join united House Republicans. [...] It would delay by two years a Dodd-Frank mandate that financial firms sell off bundled debt, known as collateralized loan obligations; exempt some private equity firms from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission; loosen regulations on derivatives; and allow some small, publicly traded companies to omit historical financial data from their financial filings.
Congressional Republicans are many things. Subtle isn't one of them.
Late last year, when putting together a compromise spending package, GOP lawmakers prioritized a provision that undermined Wall Street safeguards included in the Dodd/Frank law. Last week, on the second day of the new Congress, Republicans again went after financial industry safeguards.
Earlier this week, when Congress reauthorized the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), it included a measure that also chipped away at Dodd/Frank. All of which led to yesterday, which once again featured Republicans targeting rules for the finance industry.
The final roll call is online here. Note, because congressional Republicans have an extraordinary sense of humor, the legislation is called the "Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act."
Laughable cynicism aside, the context for all of this is just amazing. Republicans are absolutely convinced that one of the top policy challenges in the United States -- one of the key national issues that requires Congress' persistent attention -- is that there are too many safeguards in place to prevent Wall Street abuses.
That poor financial industry is, by the congressional GOP's reasoning, burdened by all these pesky layers of accountability -- so we should go back, as quickly as possible, to the conditions that existed before the 2008 crash.
What's more, Republican lawmakers know full well that while some of their more modest efforts to chip away at these safeguards will advance, most proposals, including yesterday's, stands no realistic chance at success and will never see President Obama's signature. But they keep pushing anyway in order to make it clear to everyone: the GOP majority, no matter what, is on Wall Street's side.
Now, if Wall Street were actually struggling under the weight of crushing safeguards, maybe Republicans would be justified for adding this to their to-do list. But if GOP lawmakers and their lobbyist allies have any proof of this, they haven't shared it with the rest of us.
Jan. 15, 201508:15