And the answer is …. <drumroll please> … S. 2155, for March 5, 2018 on the Senate Calendar. (pdf) By the way, the title of the bill sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) is the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Put the emphasis on the “regulatory relief” part of that title, because it certainly isn’t on the consumer protection phrase in that title. So, what is the Senate doing instead of taking on issues related to gun violence and weapons of war on our streets?
The bill amends the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 to exempt banks with assets valued at less than $10 billion from the “Volcker Rule,” which prohibits banking agencies from engaging in proprietary trading or entering into certain relationships with hedge funds and private-equity funds. Certain banks are also exempted by the bill from specified capital and leverage ratios, with federal banking agencies directed to promulgate new requirements.
The bill amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to reduce inspection requirements and environmental-review requirements for certain smaller, rural public-housing agencies.
Provisions relating to enhanced prudential regulation for financial institutions are modified, including those related to stress testing, leverage requirements, and the use of municipal bonds for purposes of meeting liquidity requirements.
The bill requires credit reporting agencies to provide credit-freeze alerts and includes consumer-credit provisions related to senior citizens, minors, and veterans. [Congress]
It’s hard enough to understand a Senate in which the answer to assault weapon violence is to require states and localities to enter information into the national database — information they are already required to submit — but it’s more important to them to let some banks get out of complying with the Volcker Rule (the bank can’t play investment games with depositors’ money.)
Instead of taking up bills to require universal background checks for the purchase of firearms in this bullet riddled country, it’s more important to the US Senate to discuss allow banks to get out from under capital and leverage ratios.
Instead of taking up bills to raise the age for firearm purchases the US Senate deems it of more importance to let some banks reduce inspection requirements and environmental-review requirements in rural areas — raising the question: Why should rural areas be less protected than urban ones?
Instead of debating bills to ban the sale of bump stocks to enhance the lethality of AR-15 and similar weapons of war, the US Senate thinks it is more important to allow some banks to skirt the demands of stress testing.
Instead of discussing how to stop the sale of weapons of war to civilians the US Senate believes it to be of more urgency to take a vote on easing the restrictions on proprietary trading….
Instead of taking action on bills to reduce the likelihood of additional carnage in our public spaces, or in the privacy of our homes, the United States Senate would far rather roll back consumer protections enacted in the wake of the Housing Bubble Debacle.
This is nothing less than the absence of national leadership and the abdication of morality.