|JONATHAN WEISMAN and ERIC LIPTON|
The continuing assault on the 2010 Dodd-Frank law has achieved remarkable success, especially compared with the repeated failures of opponents of another 2010 law, the Affordable Care Act.
The financial industry has been methodical, drafting technically complicated legislation that can pass the heavily Republican House with a few Democratic votes. And then, once approved,
The House was back at it this week. Lawmakers approved by a vote of 250 to 175, with just eight Democrats in support, a broad measure to impose a variety of new restrictions on federal regulators, like stricter cost-benefit analyses and an expansion of judicial review. That measure would affect every regulatory agency, be it the new
But House members also took up a narrower measure that would slow enforcement of Dodd-Frank requirements and weaken other regulations on financial services companies. The legislation will almost certainly pass on Wednesday with Democratic support, and although its future as a stand-alone bill is not bright, elements of it are expected to return on spending bills and other must-pass legislation in the future.
''This all works together: Put it up for stand-alone vote, get some Democrats on it, and then when you push it onto a must-pass bill, say it's a bipartisan bill that's already passed,'' said
Even with other interest groups seeking the same consideration, the financial industry likes its chances.
''There are limited opportunities for action in both the
Proponents of regulation say that they are badly outgunned by an army of
''The president was slow in drawing the same kind of line on financial reform that he did on health care,'' said
The current efforts to undermine Dodd-Frank have been textbook lobbying. In the first three quarters of last year, the securities and investment industry spent nearly
Lobbying expenditures by every specific industry group declined in 2014, except for the finance, insurance and real estate sector. That sector increased its spending by 2.5 percent.
Of even greater importance, no influential business group opposes
''In American politics, when a particularly economically motivated group gets behind something, that can be more powerful than an ideological viewpoint,''
Financial industry lobbyists say they are being unfairly pilloried. The changes they have won and further revisions they seek do not undermine the core of Dodd-Frank, they say. What has changed, they contend, is the rise of Senator
''Legislation now almost has a Warren litmus test, the liberal version of what is happening in the
Administration officials say the tide is turning in their favor. Last week, the House tried to pass a measure that would delay by two years Dodd-Frank's requirement that banks sell off collateralized loan obligations, the bundled debt that helped cause the 2008 financial collapse. The bill was even titled the ''Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act.''
But this time, most Democrats banded together against it, and the bill failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass under fast-track House rules. (Thirty-five Democrats did vote for it.)
That measure is now back on the House floor under normal rules that require only a simple majority to pass, and the
But those stands came only after other
''You can argue that of all the very powerful special interests that work in this city,
For all its sway in
''They have been very expert at controlling the narrative thus far,'' said
In fact, according to the
''There is a strong possibility, a strong possibility, that every single sentence in
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