Barney Frank: Eliminating consumer bureau would be 'very unpopular'

Barney Frank: Eliminating consumer bureau would be 'very unpopular'
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Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that it would be "very unpopular" if congressional Republicans did away with the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

In an interview with John Catsimatidis that aired Sunday on New York's AM 970, Frank said that the CFPB has "saved consumers a lot of money." He also said that before the agency was created as part of his namesake Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, consumers' complaints about their banks were sent to banking regulators that tended to favor the banks.

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe media couldn't be more blatant in distorting Trump's words on Charlottesville Curtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Kimmel: Let’s make Trump a king so he has no power MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) introduced legislation in February to eliminate the CFPB. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is preparing legislation that would strip the CFPB of its independent-agency status and would allow the president to be able to fire the agency's head at will.

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Frank said he hopes that lawmakers can reach an agreement on "minor changes" to Dodd-Frank "that make it easier for the smaller and middle-sized banks without weakening the rules against great losses that people can't deal with."

He said he supports some changes to Dodd-Frank, such as changing some of the rules that apply to small banks and increasing the $50 billion threshold for systematically important financial institutions to about $100 billion to $125 billion.

But Frank also predicted that lawmakers wouldn't be able to make any other legislative changes to Dodd-Frank.

"I don't think they have 60 votes in the Senate. I'm not sure they even have 51," he said.

Trump said on Tuesday that he is planning a "major elimination" of Dodd-Frank regulations but would keep some of them. The president said in February that some of his friends are having trouble borrowing money as a result of Dodd-Frank.

However, Frank said that while some small banks are having some difficulties, people are not having problems getting loans.