AFR Statement: CHOICE Act a Sellout of Ordinary Americans

Carter Dougherty
(202) 869-0397

As the House of Representatives began consideration of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, issued the following statement:

“Putting the greed of campaign contributors ahead of the public interest, lawmakers are preparing to take a wrecking ball to reforms that addressed a devastating financial crisis and recession. This legislation would hurt millions of people across the country who are trying to manage their finances soundly, or save for retirement. And it would make it even easier for abusive lenders to rip people off, and for Wall Street banks to put all of us at risk of another crisis.”

The bill came under fire around the country during the week-long Memorial Day recess as voters mobilized to oppose this giveaway to Wall Street. It would dismantle the hard-fought reforms of the the Dodd-Frank law, measures that polling shows are immensely popular with the public. But the financial services industry pumped over $2 billion into the political process last election cycle.

“To say this legislation betrays the populist promises that brought the Trump administration into office doesn’t do justice to the widespread revulsion felt by ordinary Americans at this attempt to gut Wall Street reform,” said Amanda Jackson, AFR’s organizing and outreach manager. “This is not what the American public is looking for in any way shape or form.”

AFR has experts who can discuss different parts of the legislation (payday lending, arbitration, the Volcker Rule, CFPB, investor protection and student lending) as well as the politics around the issue of Wall Street reform.

For further information on the legislation see this general fact sheet and this explainer focused on the CFPB. In broad brush, the bill would:

  • Create unprecedented barriers to regulatory action.
  • Eviscerate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Eliminate restrictions on subprime mortgage lending, the Volcker Rule ban on banks engaging in reckless speculation, and curbs on excessive bonuses.
  • Increase the danger of ability of “too big to fail” financial institutions that result in bank bailouts at taxpayer expense.
  • Eliminate crucial new protections for retirement savers and other investors.