Press releases

“It is time to swing the pendulum back towards simple, sensible regulations.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate this morning about the need to unburden community banks and credit unions from the weight of unfair regulations through the S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.  Sen. Kennedy also offered an amendment to help consumers take charge of their credit reports and credit scores.

S. 2155 seeks to stop the damage that the Dodd-Frank law is inflicting on community banks and credit unions that are being punished for the 2008 financial crisis even though they were not responsible for it.  Dodd-Frank has driven community banks and credit unions out of business, made it difficult for many people to have checking accounts and stifled small business loans.  In Louisiana, Dodd-Frank has created banking deserts that are sending people to payday lenders and pawn shops for simple financial transactions.

Sen. Kennedy worked with Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to ensure that S.2155 goes even further in protecting consumers by addressing the problems with credit reports revealed by the Equifax security breach.  Their bipartisan amendment tasks the Big Three credit reporting agencies with creating a website for consumers to get free access to their credit information and easily opt out of third parties obtaining that data.

Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full speech. 

Dodd-Frank Damage: “It’s been almost eight years since Dodd-Frank took effect.  In that time, well over 1,700 community banks have consolidated, merged, or shut their doors forever.  That’s an average of one every three days.  In my state of Louisiana, out-of-control compliance costs have led to banks boarding up their windows.  That means that now, in at least 15 communities, folks do not have access to a bank or a credit union.”

Small Banks Help Communities: “Studies have shown that when a bank branch shuts its doors, on average, the number of small business loans made in that community falls by 13%.  The experts say that neighborhoods can take more than eight years to recover.  Now, multiply that by the 10,000 branches that have closed across this country and the figure is breathtaking.  It doesn’t take an economist to see that the ultimate costs of Dodd-Frank on our communities have been job losses and economic decline.”

Kennedy Protects Consumers: “I’ve been working closely with my colleague, Sen. Schatz, on a bipartisan amendment to protect consumers.  Americans shouldn’t have to spend months fighting to correct inaccurate information on their credit report when they didn’t consent to have it collected in the first place.  They shouldn’t be penalized because a credit reporting agency like Equifax can’t keep their data safe.  Our proposal would require that the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies work together to create an online portal that gives consumers free access to their credit report and credit score.”

Sensible Regulations: “I believe that it’s time to swing the pendulum back towards simple, sensible regulations, and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act is a vital step in the right direction.  Dodd-Frank was like using a sledgehammer to go after a gnat.  All this reform package is suggesting is that we should try a flyswatter.”