March 14, 2023

Warren, Porter, Dozens of Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Repeal 2018 Rollback of Critical Dodd-Frank Protections

The Trump Banking Law Rolled Back “Too Big to Fail” Rules; Created Conditions for Collapse of Silicon Valley Bank

Text of Bill (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-Calif.) led dozens of Democratic lawmakers to introduce the Secure Viable Banking Act, legislation that would repeal Title IV of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. In 2018, Senator Warren was outspoken about the dangers of passing the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which reduced critical oversight and capital requirements for large banks. 

“In 2018, I rang the alarm bell about what would happen if Congress rolled back critical Dodd-Frank protections: banks would load up on risk to boost their profits and collapse, threatening our entire economy – and that is precisely what happened,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “President Biden called on Congress to strengthen the rules for banks, and I'm proposing legislation to do just that by repealing the core of Trump’s bank law."

“Americans deserve to know their money is safe when they deposit it in the bank,” said Representative Katie Porter, a consumer finance expert. “In 2018, politicians rolled back critical regulations protecting Americans’ deposits—ignoring warnings from financial experts in favor of Wall Street special interests. I’m calling on Congress to restore common-sense guardrails that keep corporate greed in check and restore confidence in our financial system.”

“When small businesses and Americans put their hard-earned money in the bank, they deserve to know it is safe and secure,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “In 2018, I voted against the misguided bill that relaxed regulations on banks like Silicon Valley Bank. I am proud to support this legislation to restore needed protections to safeguard our economy and help provide small businesses and consumers the peace of mind that their money is safe.”

“In 2018, Republicans rolled back commonsense rules designed to prevent the kind of financial crisis that recently occurred,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “As we learn more about this situation, one thing is clear: we need to strengthen—not weaken—regulations protecting consumers, depositors, and our economy. I’m proud to join Senator Warren and our colleagues in introducing this important legislation to reinstate these critical protections and help prevent future financial crises. I’ll keep working to protect the safety and soundness of our financial system and help ensure those responsible for this crisis are held accountable.”

“Five years ago, I helped lead the effort against the bank deregulation bill that led to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Now is the time to repeal that bill, break up too big to fail banks, and address the needs of working families, not vulture capitalists,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “We cannot continue to have more and more socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else.”

“Taxpayers should not have to pay for the mistakes and mismanagement of big bank executives. The American people should have confidence in their financial institutions, and that starts with undoing Trump-era deregulation so that we can ensure a collapse like we saw last week never happens again,” said Senator Ed Markey.

“Congress should have never rolled back regulations put into place to prevent exactly the kind of bank failures we saw play out in recent days. We must now act to restore these protections to strengthen our banking system, safeguard our economy, and ensure that the hard-earned money of families and small businesses is better protected,” said Senator Cory Booker.

“The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank underscores the urgent need to stop big banks’ efforts to self-govern and deregulate. Common sense measures – like strengthened stress tests and heightened capital and liquidity requirements – will safeguard vulnerable American families who have the most to lose from another financial meltdown. This legislation is an important step in addressing the regulatory rollbacks that continue to fail American consumers,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. 

“Five years ago, I stood on the Senate floor to warn my colleagues that only in Washington would anyone think it’s a good idea to mark the ten-year anniversary of the 2008-2009 financial crisis by passing S.2155, a bill that dared big banks to get bigger and increased risk to taxpayers,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “After this weekend’s collapse of SVB and Signature, the world saw why it was misguided to pass S.2155, which rolled back critical Dodd-Frank regulations for banks like Silicon Valley Bank, including enhanced prudential standards and stress tests. We must immediately repeal Title IV of S.2155 to ensure that we restore needed oversight of these systemically important institutions that have the potential to wreck our economy and the livelihoods of American families. We cannot afford to get this wrong and must act with the urgency this moment requires.”

“The Trump Administration took disastrous steps to deregulate the financial sector, with brutal consequences for families, small businesses, and innovators who put their trust in banks like SVB. This bill restores critical checks on big banks and gives folks greater certainty that their money is safe in U.S. financial institutions. We must pass it and give families the security and peace of mind they need,” said Senator Peter Welch.

“The reforms in the Dodd-Frank Act were put in place to ensure the stability of the U.S. financial system, in part by letting regulators take a clear look at the health and soundness of individuals banks. I warned Congress in 2018 that President Trump’s regulatory rollback would put the health of the banking system at risk, and now here we are. While I’m glad the Biden administration and regulators acted quickly to ensure small businesses and depositors didn’t take the brunt of this failure, this disaster could have been prevented. That’s why I’m joining Senator Warren and our colleagues to introduce legislation to restore important guardrails and strengthen our banking system," said Senator Martin Heinrich. 

Title IV of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act raised the asset threshold at which a bank is considered and regulated as a “systemically important financial institution” to $250 billion, exempting SVB and other mid-sized banks from regular stress testing and enhanced liquidity, risk management, and resolution plan, or “living will,” requirements. The lawmakers' new bill would repeal these dangerous regulatory rollbacks, which invited banks to load up on risk and increase profits, restoring critical Dodd-Frank protections. 

Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), and Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) signed on to the legislation. 

Senator Warren is a leading voice on the financial system, advocating for critical regulations to protect consumers, the financial system, and the economy:

  • On March 14, 2023, Senator Waren sent a letter to ex-SVB CEO Greg Becker, asking for answers about his and SVB lobbyists’ efforts to roll back Dodd-Frank rules prior to the collapse of the bank.
  • On March 14, 2023, Senator Warren called on Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell to recuse himself from the Federal Reserve’s announced internal review of its supervision and regulation of SVB.
  • On March 13, 2023, Senator Warren published an op-ed in the New York Times calling Congress and federal regulators to strengthen weakened rules to avoid another crisis, intensify bank oversight, reform deposit insurance, and hold SVB executives accountable for any malfeasance or mismanagement that led to its failure.
  • On March 10, 2023, Senator Warren released a statement following the collapse of SVB.
  • In March 2023, Senators Warren, Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) sent a bipartisan letter to the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, and its U.S. affiliate, Binance.US, asking for answers about the company’s finances, risk management, and regulatory compliance as it faces investigations into potential crimes – including sanctions evasion, money laundering, and unlicensed money transmission.
  • In February 2023, at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Warren raised concerns that key parts of the crypto industry are not subject to the same money laundering laws that cover other financial organizations, allowing financial criminals to use crypto to launder billions. 
  • On December 14, 2022, Senators Warren and Rgr Marshall (R-Kan.) introduced the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation that would mitigate the risks that cryptocurrency and other digital assets pose to the United States’s national security by closing loopholes in the existing anti-money laundering and countering of the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework and bring the digital asset ecosystem into greater compliance with the rules that govern the rest of the financial system.
  • On December 8, 2022, Senators Warren and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) sent letters to three key banking regulators to raise concerns about the ties between the banking industry and crypto firms. 
  • On December 6, 2022, Senators Warren, Marshall, and John Kennedy (R-La.) wrote to Silvergate, the bank that reportedly facilitated the transfer of FTX customer funds to Alameda Research, seeking answers about the bank’s role in the loss of billions of dollars in customer funds.
  • On November 30, 2022, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren defended FDIC Acting Chair Martin Greunberg from baseless attacks and called on regulators to keep crypto out of the banking system following FTX’s collapse.
  • On November 23, 2022, Senators Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting personal accountability for former FTX CEO Sam-Bankman Fried and any complicit FTX executives for wrongdoing following the exchange’s collapse. 
  • On November 22, 2022, Senator Warren published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal urging federal regulators to use their expansive authorities to crack down on crypto fraud and hold the industry to the same basic standards as other financial activities. 
  • On November 17, 2022, Senators Warren and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), sent a letter to Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX), and John Jay Ray III, the newly appointed CEO of FTX, seeking information on the reported misuse of billions of dollars of customer funds and other disturbing allegations that continue to emerge about the company’s fraudulent and illicit practices.
  • On October 25, 2022, Senators Warren and Whitehouse and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, seeking information about the steps each regulator is taking to stop the revolving door between financial regulatory agencies and the cryptocurrency industry.
  • In September 2022, Senator Warren sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen calling on the Treasury Department and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to build a strong regulatory framework for the crypto market.
  • In March 2022, Senator Warren, Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Jon Tester (D-Mt.) introduced the Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act to ensure that Vladimir Putin and Russian elites don't use digital assets to undermine the international community’s economic sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
  • In March 2022, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren highlighted the various cryptocurrency tools that could make it easier for sanctioned individuals to hide their wealth and lessen the impact of Russian sanctions.
  • In March 2022, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren warned that cryptocurrency may allow Russia to dodge sanctions and urged stronger regulation of the crypto market to ensure that countries, drug traffickers, cyber criminals, and tax cheats can’t evade economic pain.
  • In March 2022, Senators Warren, Warner, Reed, and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Chair of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking about the Treasury Department’s plans to enforce sanctions-compliance guidance for the cryptocurrency industry to ensure that economic sanctions remain an effective tool for achieving foreign policy goals.
  • In January 2022, Senators Warren and Reed (D-R.I.) sent a letter to Dino Falaschetti – the Trump-appointed Director of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury – urging the OFR to use its critical tools to collect data to safeguard the financial system from stability risks.
  • In January 2022, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren pressed Fed Chair Jerome Powell on the role of corporate concentration in driving up prices for consumers during his renomination hearing to be Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  • In December 2021, during a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren raised concerns over the growing risks presented by stablecoins. 
  • In September 2021, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren called on regulators to step up to address crypto's regulatory gaps and ensure an inclusive financial system. 
  • In July 2021, Senator Warren sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to use its existing authority to address risks posed by the highly volatile cryptocurrency market and lead the financial regulatory agencies in developing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to regulating cryptocurrencies. 
  • In July 2021, Senator Warren sent a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler requesting information about the agency's authority to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and protect consumers from risks posed by the highly volatile cryptocurrency market.
  • In June 2021, chairing a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Senator Warren delivered remarks on the opportunities and risks that digital currencies present. 
  • In a June 2021 interview, Senator Warren called the market for crypto the “wild west,” and said digital currency is “not a good way to buy and sell things and not a good investment and an environmental disaster.”
  • In May 2021, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren questioned Randal K. Quarles, Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, about his decision to weaken supervision for large foreign banks including Credit Suisse, which suffered the largest losses from the implosion of the hedge fund Archegos.
  • On March 14, 2018, Senator Warren delivered her sixth floor speech opposing the Senate's Bank Lobbyist Act. In her remarks, Senator Warren discussed how the Senate should be working for the American people, rather than big banks, and called on her colleagues to reject the legislation.
  • On March 14, 2018, Senator Warren introduced the Ending Too Big to Jail Act to hold big bank executives accountable when the banks they lead break the law.
  • On March 13, 2018, Senator Warren delivered her fifth floor speech outlining how the Bank Lobbyist Act exempts 85 percent of banks from reporting data under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), making it easier for banks to discriminate against women and people of color.
  • On March 12, 2018, Senator Warren continued speaking out against the Senate's effort to roll back Dodd-Frank rules and how the new amendment claiming to address the problems in the legislation still preserves big bank giveaways, undermines civil rights laws, and weakens consumer protections.
  • On March 9, 2018, Senator Warren delivered her third floor speech against effort to roll back rules on the biggest banks in the country. In her remarks, Senator Warren spoke about the history of financial deregulation in America.
  • On March 7, 2018, Senator Warren filed 17 amendments to demonstrate serious flaws with the Senate's legislation to roll back rules on the biggest banks in the country.
  • On March 7, 2018, Senator Warren wrote a Medium post opposing the Senate's Bank Lobbyist Act.
  • On March 7, 2018, Senator Warren spoke on the Senate floor against the Senate's effort to roll back the rules on the biggest banks in the country.  In her remarks, Senator Warren discussed how, in addition to hurting American consumers, the legislation to deregulate these banks will increase the risk of another economic meltdown.
  • On March 6, 2018, Senator Warren delivered a floor speech in which she spoke out against the Senate's effort to deregulate big banks 10 years after the financial crisis.