Hoping to find a way to show American voters the Republican Party doesn’t just represent stalled legislation and gridlock, members of the GOP in Washington have recently rolling out extensive policy proposals to reform the way taxes and — most recently — banks on Wall Street are handled.
Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, plans on unveiling a series of reforms to the country’s financial regulatory palate in the coming week, including what would effectively be a gutting of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform measure instituted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Hensarling doesn’t want to change all of the bill — which has been cheered by members on the opposite side of the aisle, including Hillary Clinton — just “89.7 percent,” he says .
Among the reforms House Republicans like Hensarling are pushing are reduced independence for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (funding would come from Congress rather than directly from the Federal Reserve) and taking away the bureau’s ability to prohibit arbitration clauses in financial contracts. Hensarling would also like parts of the Fed — particularly the area that regulates financial institutions — to be under congressional budgetary oversight, the Economist reported.
Hensarling would like to repeal the so-called Volcker rule that bars banks and investment firms from trading on their own account. He would also like to replace government regulations on traders with hefty capital requirements (say, 10 percent of funding coming from equity from the firms themselves). Big banks would no longer be able to be bailed out by the government under his plans, either.
The Texan’s proposals follow leadership from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has made a concerted effort lately to show the party’s ability to do more than just shoot down ideas from Democrats. Ryan recently released a series of proposals to outline the GOP platform going forward. He would like to repeal and replace Obamacare (he says that the Affordable Care Act is hurting doctors). He has also introduced tax reform policies that would cut rates by about 33 percent on average for Americans, according to his estimates.
While congressional Republicans are pushing hefty policy proposals, their party’s presumed standard-bearer is not known for the same and many have argued that Ryan and his flock are making moves on policy to distinguish themselves from Donald Trump, who has been flailing in the polls.
Trump has had a bad month and has seen his polling plummet. An ABC/Washington Post poll released Sunday showed him 12 points behind Clinton across the nation. That represents a sharp, 14 point swing from mid-May when Trump led Clinton by 2 points just after he became his party’s presumptive nominee. Trump has come under increased scrutiny since then and is seen by many voters as biased against women, minorities and Muslims, the poll showed.
Both parties will officially name their nominees next month at their respective conventions. The Republicans will meet July 18-21 in Cleveland and the Democrats will gather July 25-28 in Philadelphia.