Let’s Talk About the Truth

By former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

Here’s the truth. There has been a great deal of misinformation about the bipartisan banking bill the U.S. Senate passed last week, which Senator Heitkamp helped write and introduce. You may have read some of it.

We know a little bit about banking regulation as we wrote the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law — it’s even named after us. And we want to set the record straight about what this bill will and will not do.

This bill is not a big hand out to Wall Street. It’s mostly about community banks and credit unions which exist in every state. The bill aims to give them with the relief they need so they can serve families and small businesses that have been closing or pulling back on lending because some the regulations placed on them are too onerous. We did not agree with everything in this bill. In fact, we opposed certain provisions of the bill, but we can agree that community banks and credit unions didn’t cause the 2008 financial crisis — and they shouldn’t have to comply with all of the same regulations as Wall Street banks. That just makes sense.

Senator Heitkamp worked to include critical protections in the bill to support consumers’ and veterans’ credit, shield seniors from financial exploitation, and safeguard families from cybersecurity threats. And she made sure important regulations remain in place on risky mortgages and Wall Street banks so they can’t cause another financial crisis.

She and a small bipartisan group of senators worked for years to carefully craft this targeted bill — and it’s a testament to their hard work that they were able to get this bill across the finish line. Far too often gridlock and politics prevent results in Congress, but Senator Heitkamp has shown time and time again how to work across the aisle to craft smart, thoughtful legislation that can pass — just like this bill.

Senator Heitkamp has never been afraid to stand up against big banking lobbyists and she will again if the House of Representatives further erodes the protection of consumers and safe banking practices. Anyone who says otherwise is just wrong. Sen. Heitkamp understands the needs of North Dakotans and those throughout rural America, and she advocates for them every day in the U.S. Senate. She knows her job is about fighting for families, workers, and retirees across her state — and nothing will get in her way of doing that.