Commonsense reform bill passes senate

One of the best ways to judge a piece of legislation is by who opposes it. If opponents on both sides of an issue are dissatisfied, then that usually means that it is a moderate piece of common sense with broad support. By that measure, S2155 which passed the Senate yesterday with 67 votes – neither of which was cast by a New York senator – is exactly what the doctor ordered.

To its critics on the left who see any amendment to Dodd-Frank as a giveaway to the big banks, the bill turns its back on the lessons of the Great Recession. To its critics on the right, the bill doesn’t go far enough to take the chains off the banks that make the economy grow.

Both sides have a point and that means we’re on the right path. The bill is nothing more or less than a collection of sensibly targeted measures that will help small to medium sized credit unions and banks from some of Dodd-Frank’s mandates. To critics on the left, the part of the bill that has gotten the most attention in recent days is that it would raise the exemption threshold for some HMDA reporting requirements to institutions that make 500 or more mortgages a year. But the reality is that small institutions are not the ones responsible for the type of discrimination that HMDA is designed to monitor for. Plus, the inordinate amount of new reporting requirements really do impose a regulatory burden on small institutions.

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