U.S. financial regulation relief bill headed for appropriations

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 22, 2015 10:08 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Richard Shelby plans to attach his financial regulation relief bill to an appropriations markup on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter, acting on a threat he issued previously if Democrats failed to offer a fair compromise.

The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, which aims to ease bank regulations and enforce greater transparency on the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators, passed the Senate Banking Committee in May with no support from Democrats.

The biggest beneficiaries of Shelby's bill would be large regional banks such as PNC Financial Services Group with assets between $50 billion to $500 billion who may no longer be subject to stricter Fed regulations if the proposal is signed into law.

With Democratic support yet to surface, President Barack Obama is highly unlikely to sign the bill should it even pass the Senate floor.

On Wednesday, a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee meets to mark up the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016. If Shelby attaches the relief bill to that appropriations bill, the tactic could give the legislation a better chance of passage - even though the move would likely generate even louder protests from Democrats.

The appropriations subcommittee meets at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday. Shelby could, in the end, decide not take the appropriations route for his bill. Shelby declined to comment on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Michael Flaherty)