Earlier this year, Senate Banking Chair Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) introduced the “Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015” — a massive bill that gives a preview of the kind of regulatory rollbacks the financial industry will try to attach to end-of-year funding bills. In fact, Senator Shelby has already placed the entire bill into appropriations legislation that passed the relevant committee earlier this year.
Shelby and others have attempted to portray this multi-hundred page bill as a relatively moderate set of changes to the financial reforms put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act. That’s far from the truth. The legislation would weaken protections against the kind of mortgage lending abuses that were at the heart of the financial crisis, undermine consumer protections, and reverse improvements in the regulation of some of the largest financial institutions in the country.