WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee may pass a number of small legislative proposals to help banks and credit unions, but the panel is still figuring out what sort of package can ultimately be agreed upon, top Democrats said Tuesday.

“On Dodd-Frank, I think there is a number of very narrowly crafted proposals that we could pass tomorrow,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., a member of the panel.

However, Heitkamp said a more substantial regulatory relief package has run into roadblocks in the past.

“We can get consensus on community banks and probably consensus on doing some relief for regional banks, but every time that happens somebody wants to put something from the left or from the right” that kills the bipartisan agreement, she said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (left) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (right)
“We have actually got to deliver on our promise to give community banks and regional banks regulatory relief," said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (right), D-N.D.

However, the panel could be poised to break from old habits as committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, has committed to working with the top Democrat on the panel, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Earlier this year the two senators invited public input on proposals to increase economic growth.

Brown said Tuesday that the exercise “has been helpful; we have some good ideas.”

He added that Crapo “wants to do some things bipartisanly and I am hopeful we can.”

The panel will kick off those efforts on Thursday when it will hear testimony from bank and credit union executives who will plead their case for regulatory relief.

“We are going to try and figure out what we can get done," Heitkamp said. “We have actually got to deliver on our promise to give community banks and regional banks regulatory relief."

Brown focused his comments on more pressing issues, including fixing flood insurance, which is set to expire in the fall.

“You start with flood insurance, you start with how to get more capital to small business, you start with where we need to go with the Export-Import bank. I think a whole host of those things,” Brown said.

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