Dodd-Frank Rollback Hinges on Democrats' Reply, Hensarling Says

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(Bloomberg) -- It’s your move, Senate Democrats.

That’s the word from House Financial Service Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling on a standoff over a sweeping rollback of bank regulations put in place after the 2008 credit crisis. The Texas Republican has outlined more than two dozen House bills -- many of them bipartisan -- that he wants added to Senate-passed legislation that would amend the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. He indicated Thursday that he’d be willing to pass the Senate bill as long as moderate Democrats find another way to meet his demands.

“Work with the House to give us a pathway to get these bills done,” Hensarling urged Democrats in comments to reporters after speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event. “If you guys have a little free time this afternoon, I would encourage you to find these moderate Democrats and ask them that question."

The Senate legislation bill cosponsored by Democrats including Virginia’s Mark Warner, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and Montana’s Jon Tester is largely aimed at giving small and regional banks a reprieve from regulations put in place after the crisis, including raising the threshold for banks to face additional oversight tied to being deemed “too big to fail.”

Democrats who supported the bill, facing backlash from progressive colleagues including Elizabeth Warren, have said they will walk away from negotiations if the House demands big changes.

Hensarling, who will be retiring from Congress at the end of this year, said at the chamber event that his ego is “small by Washington standards” and that one of the only legacies he wants to leave is a permanent clock tracking the U.S. national debt in the Financial Services Committee room.

That request was rejected, he said, and he’ll have to settle for a portrait instead.

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