House Democrats on Monday blasted President Trump’s executive orders curtailing financial regulation, arguing that the White House wants to bring the country back to the days leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
“They want to take us right back to that place, by the person who went out there and campaigned against Wall Street,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a press conference.
“We cannot return to the financial catastrophes that we’ve had in the past,” added Rep. Vicente González (D-Texas).
Trump on Friday issued two executive orders aimed at cutting back on regulations affecting the financial sector. One of the orders directs federal agencies to create a report within 120 days about what aspects of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law they think do and do not work. The other directs the Labor Department to stop working on the “fiduciary rule,” which would require financial advisers to act only based on their clients’ best interests.
Democratic lawmakers accused Trump of going against his campaign promises, since he repeatedly attacked Wall Street while he was running for president.
“Instead of fighting for hard-working families abused by our economy, as he promised in the campaign, the president and his billionaire Cabinet have abandoned Main Street to enable Wall Street’s corrosive profiteering of the banks on the back of hard-working Americans,” Pelosi said.
Republicans often argue that Dodd-Frank has hurt community banks. Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, refuted that argument, saying that community banks are making more loans than big banks and credit unions have seen their membership expand.
“In Trump’s America, Wall Street comes first and Main Street picks up the tab,” she said.
The Democratic lawmakers also defended the fiduciary rule, saying it protects the investments of seniors and the members of the middle class.
The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), praised Trump’s actions on Friday.
“Dodd-Frank failed to keep its promises, but President Trump is following through on his promise to the American people to dismantle Dodd-Frank,” Hensarling said in a statement. “That’s not what Wall Street wants, but it is what hardworking Americans need to have a healthy economy with more opportunities so they can achieve financial independence.”