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IN THE NEWS: Joe Donnelly bucks party to craft bipartisan regulatory relief bill

Joe Donnelly is bucking his Democratic colleagues once again and crossing the aisle as a “critical” member of the bipartisan coalition that negotiated the regulatory relief bill that the Senate began consideration of today.

The bill is a “rare loss for Wall Street,” as Bloomberg writes, and instead focuses on lifting burdensome regulations from community banks and credit unions so they can provide real tailwinds for Indiana’s economy.

From the Indy Star: Donnelly joins Republicans in move to roll back regulations on banking industry

With critical help from moderate Democrats such as Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, Congress is moving to ease some of the banking regulations imposed after the 2008 financial crisis.

Donnelly, one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing re-election this year, has been applauded for his efforts…

“Indiana’s own Sen. Joe Donnelly recently helped craft a bill that would provide significant regulatory relief for local credit unions and banks,” Kevin Ryan, president and CEO of Financial Center First Credit Union in Indianapolis, wrote in a recent opinion piece praising the legislation.

Radio ads paid for by the Credit Union National Association urged listeners last fall to "Tell Joe Donnelly you’re grateful for his leadership on common sense financial reform."

Donnelly argues the changes will make it easier for families to get mortgages and for businesses to access capital. He has also touted a provision requiring credit report firms to give consumers unlimited, free credit freezes to prevent identity thieves from opening accounts in someone else's name. (That provision is a response to a massive data breach at Equifax, one of those firms.)

From Bloomberg: Senate's reboot of financial rules includes rare loss for Wall Street

The U.S. Senate is expected to approve a sweeping revamp of financial rules this week.

Of all the surprises that entails -- about a dozen Democrats signing on, Republicans leaving a lot of the much-maligned Dodd-Frank legislation intact -- the biggest is the lack of goodies for Wall Street.

The bill seems intent on not helping the giant financial institutions that fueled populist anger in the lead-up to the 2008 crisis, and other firms that have continued to trigger criticism.

Megabanks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. could walk away almost empty-handed. And Equifax Inc. -- the credit company that left millions of consumers vulnerable to identify theft after being hacked last year -- might even be punished with tougher rules.

The support of some Senate Democrats has been key to advancing the bill. Particularly supportive are Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Indiana's Joe Donnelly, who are up for re-election in states that Trump won in 2016.

From the Associated Press: Senate Poised to Ease Dodd-Frank Rules for Most Banks

The move to alter some key aspects of the Dodd-Frank law has overwhelming Republican support and enough Democratic backing that it's expected to gain the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate. Several Democratic lawmakers facing tough re-election races this year have broken ranks with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

...

But many Democrats stayed on board, and the bill has 13 Republican and 13 Democratic or independent co-sponsors, a rare level of bipartisanship for substantive legislation in the current Congress. By contrast, the House effort to roll back Dodd-Frank didn't generate a single Democratic vote in support.

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