McConnell Talks Dodd-Frank Reform
On election night, Tuesday, November 4, 2014, Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives and swept the majority in the Senate. The rebalance of power makes previous Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell (R – KY), the new majority leader. As majority leader, Senator McConnell will wield considerable influence over the Senate legislative agenda in 2015 and 2016, working in close collaboration with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R – OH).
Just days after his victory, Senator McConnell has already hinted at plans for reforming and pealing back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Senator McConnell’s rhetoric does not reveal his specific plans, but it does appear certain that he will revisit certain provisions of the legislation. Senator McConnell has reportedly called the Dodd-Frank Act “Obamacare for banks,” and suggested that the law could be “damaging” to the financial system; he has said he plans to “water down” the legislation.
With Republicans in control of Congress it is much more likely that financial reform and deregulation bills will reach the President’s desk. It is unclear, however, how much President Obama will decide to veto. Additionally, Senate Republicans do not maintain the 60-person majority needed to pass legislation and will therefore need to work with Senate Democrats to move any such legislation.