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OPINION

Dodd-Frank and the Durbin Amendment Could Finally Go Down in Flames

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Dodd-Frank has been a behemoth of costly red-tape and an elephant sitting atop American business since is passing. Could that finally be coming to an end?

An opportunity to lighten the load could be voted on in the House Financial Services Committee as early as this week.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has been working to undo Dodd-Frank and that moment is finally here. The Hensarling sponsored bill is called The Financial Choice Act.

Listen to Rep. Hensarling himself describe what it does in his own words:

(Can you embed the below - https://youtu.be/ak76kupyt9k)

Americans and Conservatives have been starving for leadership. Finally, someone is actually doing something rather just giving speeches. Enough rhetoric about meaningless things, this legislation will actually make America better right away.

Here’s what The Financial Choice Act will do:

“It ends taxpayer-funded bailouts once and for all. It stops the cronyism that allows the powerful and well-connected to game our system. It lifts bureaucratic red tape -- intended for big banks on Wall Street -- off of community banks on Main Street. It requires banks to be well capitalized to prevent another financial crisis and puts in place the toughest penalties in history to protect consumers from fraud and deception. And it will help grow the economy forallAmericans-- not just those at the top.”

All of those things will essentially eliminate the damage done by the Durbin Amendment as added by Sen. Richar Durbin (D-IL). The Durbin Amendment is an especially insidious item that was included as a last-minute addition to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act on behalf of special interest groups representing big box retailers.

The Durbin Amendmnet is the basis for market-manipulating price controls that were forced on interchange fees charged during debit card transactions. Although retailers promised to pass along savings to consumers in the form of lower prices as part of the promise of the amendment, these special interests instead have pocketed $36 billion since enactment, turning the amendment into nothing more than a merchant markup that pads retailers’ bottom lines while consumers see no relief at the register.  

Now that we see the massive amounts of increased profits that have been recognized because of the Durbin Amendment, we now know that cronyism was afoot when it was passed.  Government mandates that result in more profits for special interests is the type of crony capitalism that drives voters crazy.  Cronyism is a great reason why this mandate should be repealed.

In addition to hurting consumers, the Durbin Amendment literally victimizes small community banks and credit unions who were supposed to have been exempted from the weight of the Durbin Amendment, but shockingly were not. Dodd-Frank in general, but specifically in the Durbin Amendment have severely impacted the ability of our small town banks to do business by the sheer force of regulatory controls.

This Hensarling bill would go a long way to revitalize our hometown banks who traditionally have been more suited to helping grow small businesses than the large banks.

For once, a bill that could actually spur economic growth and actually reduce the regulatory red-tape that has stagnated American small business for years is a real possibility. It’s time for the Durbin Amendment and Dodd-Frank which are in essence a giveaway scheme for crony interests and a hidden tax on the American people to be tossed into the dust bin of history. 

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