The AFR Advocacy Fund has released its final voting record for the 114th Congress. “Where They Stand on Financial Reform” (linked and attached) tracks more than 70 bills, amendments, and resolutions that, during the years 2015 and 2016, gave House members and Senators a chance to protect investors, consumers, borrowers and the stability, transparency, and accountability of the financial system, or, on the other hand, to make it easier for banks and lenders to inflate their profits at the economy’s and the country’s expense.
Eight years after the financial crisis and six years after passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, most voters, regardless of political party, want the rules governing banks and lending companies to be strengthened, not weakened. (See Question 6 of AFR/CRL poll.) But while many lawmakers echo that sentiment at least rhetorically, their votes often tell a different story.
The nature of the legislation that the last Congress voted on is revealing in itself: the great majority of the bills and amendments brought to a vote in 2015 and 2016 were industry-backed proposals to weaken existing reforms or the agencies responsible for carrying them out.
Many of these measures will be back on the calendar of the 115th Congress, some with improved chances of enactment now that one party controls the presidency as well as both chambers of Congress. Our voting record is intended to serve as a tool for journalists, advocates, and others in following these fights and linking current votes and actions to how particular lawmakers and Congress as a whole have voted on such issues in the past.