Rep. Dennis A. Ross Debates Rep. Maxine Waters, Blasts Dodd-Frank's Impact on Community Banks
Community banks and the mom-and-pop businesses they serve have been severely harmed by federal regulators, argued U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15) during a debate on the House Floor over legislation that would lift regulatory barriers to lending for community banks with less than $3 billion in total assets. Rep. Ross, who is Senior Deputy Majority Whip and Vice Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee for the House Committee on Financial Services, had a brief exchange with the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, noting that economic growth, driven by local small businesses, requires access to the kind of credit that has been severely limited by the Dodd-Frank Act. When Rep. Waters suggested that Dodd-Frank’s regulation of community banks was necessary to prevent another financial crisis, Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), noted the Ranking Member’s inability to name a single community bank that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis, and the injustice of punishing these financial institutions for a crisis they did not create.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chairman. And I thank Ms. Love for this bill. It is said that all politics are local but might I also suggest that all economic growth is local as well? Local in the sense of small businesses, small businesses, the mom and pops who put their ideas at risk in order to create their American dream of growing a business and creating jobs. And yet what does it take? It takes access to capital. Yet since Dodd-Frank, we have not seen that access to capital available to our small businesses who so desperately need it in order to grow our economies, especially at the community level.
“In fact, might I even suggest that Dodd-Frank has only one attribute in terms of job growth and that's the creation of the one fastest growing job out there, compliance officer. Compliance officers that banks and financial institutions have to hire in order to meet regulatory burdens that takes away from the bottom line of consumers. Consumers who want to achieve the American dream. M r. Speaker, H.R. 4771 , the Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act, will allow that access to capital that is so desperately needed at the local level. I encourage my colleagues to support this bill and with that, I yield back.”