Bera Joins Republicans, Delivers Major Victory to Wall Street Bankers in Partial Rollback of Dodd-Frank Regulations

May 23, 2018 |  

In a significant legislative victory for Wall Street bankers, Republicans, and President Donald Trump, Rep. Dr. Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove) joined every Republican member of Congress yesterday and voted to approve a partial rollback of the Dodd-Frank financial reform regulations passed in 2010. 

The legislation, U.S. Senate Bill 2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, was approved by a vote of 258 to 159. Bera was one of 33 Democratic legislators joining the Republican caucus to pass the measure.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Trump, was lauded by Republicans and financial interests for relief offered to smaller banks and credit unions burdened by stress tests and reserve requirement imposed on much larger, so-called too big to fail financial institutions. Critics, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D - Los Angeles) asserted portions of the law will weaken consumer protections and reopen predatory sub-prime mortgage lending practices. 

“Republicans are trying to pass this bill off as an effort solely designed to benefit small community banks," Walters said during the floor debate. "But the truth is the bill is packed with poisonous provisions that benefit megabanks like Wells Fargo and companies like Equifax. It also weakens critical mortgage protections to ensure borrowers can afford their loans, and prevent discrimination and fraud.”

After the passage, Bera and other Democratic representatives who help pass the legislation were criticized for their vote. The advocacy group Public Citizen listed Bera and the other Democratic representatives on their List of Shame.

The group implored voters to remember Bera, who was joined by three other California Democratic members, "next time Wall Street tanks our economy and taxpayers are left to bail out the Big Banks." Interestingly, as the legislation was passed, the banking sector collectively recorded their largest quarterly profits ever. 

Bera's office was contacted by email seeking comment on his vote. As of posting time, there has been no response. 

Also joining the chorus of criticism on Bera's vote was Amar Shergill, an executive board member of the California Democratic Party. Shergill has frequently taken Bera to task on votes where he sided with Republicans. 

“Congressman Bera has a sadly consistent habit of voting with President Trump and right-wing Republicans while using a million-dollar marketing strategy to portray himself as something he’s not. His latest vote, rolling back Dodd-Frank protections, puts our financial markets at risk and will further exacerbate the income inequality which is making life so difficult for working families in our district," Shergill said. "Since his Republican electoral competition is somewhat worse, we must put our faith in Rep. Bera’s progressive colleagues to do the right thing after the November election.”

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