PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Robert Flanders said Thursday he supports a bank deregulation bill signed into law by President Trump that was opposed by Democratic incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse.
The legislation – dubbed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act – scales back some of the rules put in place following the financial crisis as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Supporters said it would ease the burden on midsize and community banks by classifying fewer of them as “too big to fail.”
The measure split congressional Democrats, with some moderates backing the changes under pressure from hometown banks, but others – including Whitehouse and his senior colleague Jack Reed – casting them as a giveaway to Wall Street.
“Congress should be focused on making sure responsible lenders can provide enough capital to small businesses that are hiring rather than rolling back the safeguards we put in place to prevent big banks from causing another financial crash,” Whitehouse said when the Senate was debating the bill.
Whitehouse also unsuccessfully offered two amendments to the bill, one that would increase the federal cap on lending by credit unions and another that would allow states to set their own caps on interest rates for credit cards.
In a statement, Flanders declared, “Today is a victory for Main Street, small businesses, and our Rhode Island communities.” He argued Whitehouse’s opposition to the bill reflects his “radical partisanship.”
“The important core elements of Dodd-Frank remain in place to ensure high-risk financial activity doesn’t precipitate another financial crisis,” Flanders said. “However, even the law’s titular co-sponsor, Barney Frank, admitted it went too far; indeed, 16 other Democrats currently serving in the Senate agree.”
“Time and again, Senator Whitehouse has demonstrated he is incapable of acting in Rhode Island’s best interest,” he added.
Flanders is facing state Rep. Bobby Nardolillo in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.FacebookTwitterGoogle +