Basic Briefing

The Banking and Finance Debate

The debate on Banking and Finance focuses on the government’s role in regulating banks and financial institutions. Would greater regulation have prevented the Great Recession? Should the US ever bail out banks or lending companies? Do banking and finance regulations protect the middle-class or hurt the economy as a whole? Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau working?

Official Democratic position

For too long, we’ve had a financial system that stacked the deck against ordinary Americans. Banks on Wall Street played by different rules than businesses on Main Street and community banks.” The Party supports increased banking regulation through the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, and protecting consumers against “…deceptive and unfair lending practices”.

Official Republican position

The Republican Party supports requiring congressional approval for all new regulations. The Party opposes the Dodd-Frank Act, “…a massive labyrinth of costly new regulations.” It believes that Dodd-Frank prolonged the Great Recession. The Party is against taxpayer-funded bailouts for borrowers and lenders and believes that banks should be well-capitalized.

Institutional framework

Banking is regulated at both the federal and state level. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) "establishes uniform principles, standards, and report forms". The primary federal regulators are the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board (of which there are 12 regional boards), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. State-chartered banks are additionally regulated by a state regulatory agency.

The various regulations include rules on lending, deposits, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism, consumer privacy, and community reinvestment. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires banks to file audited financial statements and make them publicly available. The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau investigates consumer complaints and enforces new consumer protection laws.

Most Vocal on Banking and Finance

These are the candidates who focus on this issue the most, with the most liberal on this issue on the left and the most conservative on this issue on the right. Click on the circles to see more information.

Steve Stivers | Candidate for 15th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Ohio (OH) | Crowdpac Robert Hurt | 5th Congressional District (2014) in Virginia (VA) | Crowdpac Garland Barr | Candidate for 6th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Kentucky (KY) | Crowdpac Bill Huizenga | Candidate for 2nd Congressional District, primary (2018) in Michigan (MI) | Crowdpac Blaine Luetkemeyer | Candidate for 3rd Congressional District, primary (2018) in Missouri (MO) | Crowdpac Maxine Waters | Candidate for 43rd Congressional District, primary (2018) in California (CA) | Crowdpac Patrick McHenry | Candidate for 10th Congressional District, primary (2018) in North Carolina (NC) | Crowdpac Sean Duffy | Candidate for 7th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Wisconsin (WI) | Crowdpac David Schweikert | Candidate for 6th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Arizona (AZ) | Crowdpac Stephen Fincher | 8th Congressional District (2014) in Tennessee (TN) | Crowdpac

The Spectrum on Banking and Finance

These are the candidates who are most liberal, most conservative, and most moderate on this specific issue. Click on each candidate to see more information.

Relevant Committees


American Bankers Association - Largest advocacy group of US Bankers

Americans for Financial Reform - Working to reform the US financial sector to serve the economy as a whole