According to a key U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive, congressional Democrats have admitted privately that they actually want the kind of reform to 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill advocated by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas); it’s just that they’ll never vote for it because they’re “not going to give [the Trump] administration a win.”
Tom Quaadman, Executive Vice President of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC), moderated a panel at a closed-press event last Friday where the Chamber unveiled its Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reform agenda.
According to video of the event posted after the fact, Quaadman said during the panel:
“Last May, I had a meeting on the Hill that ended about 7 o’clock at night. And I decided you know what, it was the first day of the CHOICE Act mark up, and I said you know, I just wanted to go in there, I really wanted to see what the dynamics were. Everybody knew what the vote was going to be on the CHOICE Act, coming out of the Committee. But you can always tell from body language, and from language that is being used, if people are willing to work together on different issues or whatever. So I went in there, Congressman Duffy was sort of running through CFPB reform, he’s talking about structure, he’s talking about appropriations, checks and balances, etc. And then Congressman Capuano from Massachusetts who I have a lot of respect for, his office is a couple doors down from when I was on the Hill, he basically got up and said look, he goes, you’re making a lot of cogent arguments that at some point in the future I’m going to agree with, but he goes, I’m going to be very honest with you, we’re not going to give this administration a win. And that was a, you know, on one level, the cynic in me, that was not that surprising to hear that, but in terms of good government, I was a little taken aback by that.” (emphasis added)
For years, advocates of a Dodd-Frank overhaul have claimed that Democrats privately back many reform measures proposed by Republicans, but won’t vote for them because of pure political concerns. Quaadman’s comments will add further credibility to those charges and serve to underline that Democrats are only opposing reform measures out of animus towards Trump, as opposed to for substantive and philosophical reasons.
As noted by sometimes RedState contributor Liz Mair here, some Senate Democrats recently sided with Senate Republicans on changes to Dodd-Frank, incurring the wrath of Elizabeth Warren, the supposed intellectual force behind Dodd-Frank, and the original creator of the CFPB concept. The actions of those Democrats further underline the point: Opposition to financial regulatory reform is about “resisting” Trump, not about good governance or principle.
That’s something voters might want to keep in mind when they hear Warren, or other Democrats, bashing moves to overhaul a flawed piece of legislation that many experts agree needs a fix and an update, eight years after it became law.