House will not pass current Senate bill easing bank rules: Hensarling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives will not approve a bill easing bank rules passed by the Senate without additional provisions that would further relax regulations introduced after the 2007-2009 financial crisis, a leading lawmaker said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO - Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) questions SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White during a hearing in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The comments by Representative Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, inject new uncertainty into Congress’ first bipartisan attempt to rewrite the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

During a briefing on Thursday, Hensarling told reporters the lower chamber is insisting on negotiations in an effort to add roughly 30 measures to the bill the Senate passed Wednesday.

“The bill is staying on the Speaker’s desk unless and until they negotiate with the House,” he said, indicating Speaker Paul Ryan, who controls what bills the House will consider, supports Hensarling’s position.

A spokeswoman for Ryan, AshLee Strong, said “all options are on the table to ensure that common-sense bipartisan House solutions are included in a final bill.”

Senate passage of the bill was seen as a major accomplishment, given that any legislation requires support from Democrats as well as Republicans to pass there. Lawmakers who have backed the bill authored by Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo hoped the House would accept the bill as it stands, avoiding adding any contentious provisions that could scare off Democrats who back the current bill.

The U.S. Senate voted 67 to 31 to pass the bill, which would ease rules for all but the nation’s largest banks, with a particular focus on reducing burdens on small lenders.

Hensarling has a list of roughly 30 measures he wants to see added to the bill and has said all have some degree of support from Democrats. But some, including measures that would limit the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or weaken stress tests on some of the nation’s largest banks, are likely to be more contentious.

Hensarling told reporters he had spoken with President Donald Trump about the issue a few weeks ago.

“He knew that the House had their bills and the Senate had their bills,” said Hensarling.

In a statement following passage of the Senate bill Wednesday, the White House said Trump “looks forward to discussing any further revisions the House is interested in making, with the goal of bipartisan, pro-growth Dodd-Frank relief reaching his desk as soon as possible.”

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Tom Brown