Washington (March 14, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) joined dozens of Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Katie Porter (CA-47) in introducing 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.
“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 Markey.
“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 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 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 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 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 Sanders. “We cannot continue to have more and more socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else.”
“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 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 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 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 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 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.
Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), 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.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
Cosponsors in the House include Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), John Larson (CT-01), Mark Takano (CA-39), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Eric Swalwell (CA-14), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), John Garamendi (CA-08), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Ruben Gallego (AZ-03), Cori Bush (MO-01), and Robert Garcia (CA-42).