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Perez Dodges Question About Democratic Party Split on Dodd-Frank Rollback

17 Democrats voted to advance Republican bill to weaken parts of Dodd-Frank

• March 7, 2018 2:22 pm

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Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez struggled to give a straight answer on Wednesday to where he stands on a measure to loosen parts of the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act has left Democrats split. The Senate advanced the bill Tuesday with unanimous Republican support and 17 Democratic votes. The significant number of Democrats who supported the procedural vote indicate it has a good chance of passage when it comes to a vote.

CNN's Brianna Kieler asked Perez where he stands on the measure.

"There's a split in the party in the Senate when it comes to this banking bill. You have on one side folks like Elizabeth Warren who say this takes the teeth out of Dodd-Frank, it is going to lead to another financial crisis," Keilar said.

"Then you have moderate Democrats who are willing to vote for this. Where are you on this banking bill?" Keilar continued.

Perez immediately deflected, talking generally about having served in the Obama administration and having, at the time, "a front row seat to a lot of the abuses on Wall Street."

Warren, one of the most vocal proponents of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau it created, responded angrily to the bill's success, tweeting multiple times to shame Democrats.

The DNC chairman went on to talk in the abstract about a conversation about regulation he had with the "CEO of a prominent bank" before Keilar tried again for a straight answer.

"So you see Elizabeth Warren's point?" Keilar asked

"I see the point of the American people," Perez said, ignoring the question. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We have to protect consumers here, and I'm very fearful that there will be short memories and that we will again have a bubble–"

"Do you support the bill?" Keilar asked. "I mean I hear your concerns about the bubble and there being a crisis, but–."

"I think we should continue to give the Consumer Protection Commission and–" Perez started.

"But what about the bill? What about the banking bill?" Keilar asked again.

"I think we should continue, we should continue as we currently are. I don't think we should loosen the requirements," Perez acknowledged before going on to talk more generally again.