The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173; commonly referred to as Dodd–Frank) was signed into federal law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. Passed as a response to the Great Recession, it brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression. It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment that affect all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation's financial services industry. As with other major financial reforms, a variety of critics have attacked the law, with some arguing it was insufficient to prevent another financial crisis (or more bailouts) and others contending it went too far and unduly restricted financial institutions. President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team has vowed to dismantle the Dodd–Frank act.

Senate votes to relax banking rules as battleground Democrats reject liberal warnings

from USAToday,

The Senate voted Wednesday to unravel some of the bank restrictions imposed after the 2008 financial crisis, with several politically vulnerable Democrats joining with the Republican majority to reject liberal colleagues' warnings about future bailouts. Supporters said the bill, which must pass the House before it could become law, would ease burdens on credit unions and community and mid-sized banks that were not responsible for the economic collapse. Regulations and capital reserve requirements, they say, are making it harder for them to provide credit, especially in rural communities.

Critics said the bill would make future bailouts more likely by reducing government oversight, including "stress tests" by the Federal Reserve to identify risky practices that could threaten the overall economy.

The Congressional Budget Office said the probability of such bank failures, which is "small" under current the law known as Dodd-Frank, "would be slightly greater under the legislation." Dodd-Frank classified all banks with assets worth more than $50 billion as "systemically important financial institutions" subject to special tests by the Federal Reserve. They also must maintain the financial capacity to absorb losses and develop plans to deal with the potential failure of the bank. Under the Senate bill, those restrictions would only be mandatory for institutions with assets worth more than $250 billion. The change would ease regulations on more than two dozen financial companies, including BB&T Corp., Sun Trust Banks Inc. and American Express, according to The Associated Press.

The vote was 67 to 31 and highlighted a rift on the issue between the Senate’s liberal and moderate Democrats.

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