House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling officially reintroduced Wednesday his Financial Choice Act of 2017, reiterating his stance that the bill “is a better way” than the Dodd-Frank Act, which he said has been “a greater burden to enterprise than all other Obama-era regulations combined.”
During the Wednesday hearing to examine the Choice Act – which went on for more than three hours before breaking for a floor vote (and then resumed) — Democratic members of the committee lambasted the bill and implored Hensarling to assure them that there would be more than one hearing to discuss it.
Published reports say the bill is scheduled to be marked up by the committee on May 2.
All Democratic members of the committee sent a letter to Hensarling the same day requesting an “additional” hearing on the legislation.
The full Senate voted the same day, 61-39, to advance the nomination of R. Alexander Acosta to be Labor secretary.
“This is a huge piece of legislation,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, R-Missouri. “Will there be additional hearings due to the significant nature of this legislation and how huge the bill is?” he asked Hensarling. “We had 41 hearings on Dodd-Frank.”
Hensarling responded that “145 different hearings” have been held on the Dodd-Frank Act, which have included “aspects” of the Choice Act. “I expect to have more hearings on all aspects of Dodd-Frank, the Choice Act and banking.”
The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, chimed in, asking Hensarling to clarify if there would be additional hearings on the Choice Act alone.
Hensarling responded that 145 hearings have been held on “problems” associated with the Dodd-Frank Act, and that he planned to hold a “dozen more hearings” on Dodd-Frank.
“To give it [the Choice Act] only one day, one hearing, is dangerous for the American people,” added Rep. David Scott, D-Ga. “This should be a very definitive Republican and Democratic partnership working together.”
Added Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.: “It is the worst bill I’ve ever seen,” that includes a “compendium of bad, bad ideas… I’m not sure you should be proud of it. It essentially repeals Wall Street reform.”