Democrats heard from supporters of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Friday to consider legislation proposed by committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that would undo many of its features.
Ranking Democrat Maxine Waters of California said the hearing was called to offset a Thursday hearing critical of the law, and that the unusual, second-day hearing demanded by Democrats was needed “to set the record straight.” She noted that Democrats in charge of the committee when Dodd-Frank was being considered held 41 hearings, while “the Republican approach stands in stark contrast. The fact that the majority planned to hold just one hearing before rushing a nearly 600-page bill to markup sure makes it look like they are trying to hide something,” Ms. Waters said at the hearing. Democrats at the hearing labeled Mr. Hensarling's bill, known as the Financial CHOICE Act, the “wrong choice act.”
Ken Bertsch, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, testified at Friday's hearing that institutional investors “are deeply troubled that the bill would loosen safeguards.” CII, representing pension funds and endowments with $3 trillion in combined assets, objects to provisions that Mr. Bertsch said would create “prohibitively costly hurdles on shareholder proposals” and other shareholder practices, and slow down the Securities and Exchange Commission by adding excessive cost-benefit analysis requirements.