Treasury Secretary Lew Fields Questions on Reg Relief

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew faced questions from members of the Senate Appropriations Committee about regulatory relief for the nation’s community banks today during a financial services subcommittee hearing about the administration’s budget request. Some panel members expressed disappointment that a regulatory reform bill proposed by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)—which ABA aggressively advocated for—was defeated in December after failing to gain enough bipartisan support.

Lew argued that the bill did not make proper distinctions between small and large banks, and would have been too broad in its revision of Dodd-Frank. “If it had been a proposal that didn’t have such damaging provisions, we would have responded in a different way.”

In advance of the hearing, ABA and state banker associations worked to educate subcommittee members on the need for regulatory relief. Subcommittee Chairman John Boozman (R-Ark.) in an interview with Politico on Monday said that attaching bank regulatory changes to a government spending bill may still be an option on the table, but that “all of those kind of things are up in the air.”