The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on legislation this week loosening regulations on banks put in place after the Great Recession.
More than a dozen Democratic senators support the Republican bill, including Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons.
Liberal groups like the American Progress think tank argue the bill will deregulate 25 of the largest 38 banks in the U.S. But Carper said it reduces regulations on community banks to help them lend more money to small businesses.
“We heard from credit unions and smaller banks, community banks that said ‘We didn’t cause this meltdown, we didn’t cause the Great Recession and don’t blame us for it, don’t brush us with the same tar and feather,'” he said.
Currently, U.S. banks with $50 billion or more in assets must meet stricter standards. Under the legislation, that threshold would increase to $100 billion.
The threshold for foreign banks operating in the U.S. would rise from 50 billion dollars in global assets to $250 billion. The bill gives the Federal Reserve discretion to reimpose regulations on banks with assets between $100 billion and $250 billion.
The legislation also gives regulators discretion to reduce the frequency of certain stress tests on banks with less than $250 billion in assets. It also weakens rules designed to prevent discrimination by mortgage lenders.
Carper is facing a primary challenge from progressive activist Kerri Evelyn Harris.