House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said Tuesday his Financial CHOICE Act that seeks to replace Dodd-Frank and kill DOL’s fiduciary rule will likely move to the House floor for a vote after the election, and that presidential candidate Donald Trump supports the legislation.
Noting that President Barack Obama still holds office and sees the Dodd-Frank Act as a pivotal achievement of his administration, “I’m not going to be delusional to think that the Financial CHOICE Act will be signed into law” in this Congress, Hensarling said during a question-and-answer session at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s annual capital markets conference in Washington.
During the contentious markup of the bill, Hensarling repeatedly stated his CHOICE Act offers a “better way” to economic growth and protecting investors than Dodd-Frank.
The Act would block the Labor Department from implementing its new fiduciary rule by incorporating into the bill Rep. Ann Wagner’s, R-Missouri, Retail Investor Protection Act, H.R. 1090, which passed the House last year and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission to move first on a fiduciary rulemaking before DOL can implement its fiduciary rule.
Hensarling told reporters after the Q&A at the SIFMA event that the Retail Investor Protection Act was inserted into the CHOICE act as a consumer protection measure. “We don’t want consumers to lose their decision to choose the financial advisor of their own choosing.”
Hensarling noted his CHOICE Act would serve under a more favorable environment if Donald Trump becomes president and Republicans retain the House. “In my conversations with Mr. Trump, he and I share the view that Dodd-Frank has not led to economic growth in America, and we agree on” the CHOICE Act.
On Thursday, Hensarling’s committee will grill Wells Fargo chairman and CEO John Stumpf about the recent $185 million fine the bank paid to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.
Hensarling stated during the Q&A that House Financial Services, which has launched an investigation into the Wells Fargo scam, wants to know “why a fraud of this massive scale took place.”
In comments to reporters, Hensarling had this to say about Wells Fargo: “We’re still gathering information; we’re in early days in our investigation. Our job in Congress is to make laws and provide oversight to those who execute the laws. First, we want to get to the bottom of what happened at Wells Fargo. Why did it happen? Then we will turn our attention to the regulators. Maybe they deserve a pat on the back, but they also might deserve a swift kick in the pants.”
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