Senator Joe Donnelly has crafted and reached a bipartisan agreement to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks and credit unions while providing additional protection for consumers.

Donnelly, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, stated, “This bipartisan regulatory relief package is an example of what we can achieve when we work together, and the result of good-faith negotiations with [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman Mike Crapo [R-Idaho] and [Senate Democrats]. The proposal would provide long-awaited regulatory relief to community banks and credit unions unintentionally burdened by rules intended to hold Wall Street accountable. This agreement would maintain the safety of our financial system and offer new protections to consumers, including veterans, by helping to protect their credit in the wake of recent data breaches, like the Equifax breach.”

While Donnelly was a supporter of the Dodd-Frank legislation as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and continues his support for some provisions in the law, he became involved in this bipartisan agreement to help provide relief to community banks and credit unions that were hindered by rules and regulations meant to affect Wall Street.

The Indiana Chamber is pleased to see Donnelly and others begin this important regulatory relief process. This is a good first step in reducing the unnecessary and unintended burdens put on the banking sector by the onerous Dodd-Frank legislation.

Key parts of the bipartisan agreement include:

  • Community Banks and Credit Unions: This package includes a number of provisions related to community banks and credit unions that would increase their ability to extend credit to Hoosier small businesses and families, while maintaining important consumer protections.
  • Free Annual Credit Freeze for Consumers: This provision pushed by Donnelly would require credit bureaus to include one free credit freeze and a free credit unfreeze per year. Donnelly suggested this idea to protect consumers after the massive Equifax data breach that may have compromised the personal information of approximately 145 million Americans.
  • Protecting Veterans Credit: This provision, based off Donnelly’s bipartisan Protecting Veterans Credit Act, would protect the credit ratings of veterans wrongly penalized by medical bill payment delays by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This measure would prohibit medical debt from services received through the Choice Program and other VA community care programs from being reported to credit reporting agencies for one year. In addition, it would establish a dispute process for veterans seeking to remove adverse actions already on their reports.
  • Manufactured Housing: This includes a provision based on Donnelly’s bipartisan Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which would protect the ability of manufactured home customers to purchase affordable homes while maintaining important consumer protections.