WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Richard Shelby on Wednesday provided an initial roadmap for his plans if he becomes chairman of the Senate Banking Committee next year.
During a speech in Washington, Shelby, R-Ala., said he would seek to change the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, push to require financial regulators to conduct rigorous cost-benefit analyses before implementing any new rules, and lay out a plan examining the nation's housing finance system.
None of those ideas are a surprise, since Shelby has pushed for all of them over the last two years. Still, the remarks provided the most detailed view to date of how congressional Republicans would seek to alter the Dodd-Frank Act if they have the chance to do so.
In his speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Shelby vowed to repeal parts of Dodd-Frank that had nothing to do with the financial crisis or are imposing unnecessary economic costs.
"Dodd-Frank included a number of provisions that impose huge costs on American manufacturers that had nothing to do with the crisis," Shelby said in an apparent reference to rules on derivatives. "I intend to review each and every one of them."
The changes that Shelby proposed for the consumer bureau mirror the ideas that he pushed during the partisan fight over the confirmation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
The Banking Committee's top Republican said that he wants to replace the CFPB's single director with a board, subject the agency to the congressional appropriations process, and make it easier for the heads of other regulatory agencies to overrule CFPB rules.
In 2011, Shelby introduced legislation that would require more stringent cost-benefit analyses of financial regulations, and he vowed to do so again next year.
"This legislation would hold financial regulators accountable for rigorous, consistent economic analysis on every new rule they propose," he said Wednesday. "Rules would have to be based on solid evidence, not the arbitrary preferences of regulators."
In the speech, Shelby was vague about his plans for the future of the nation's housing finance system, though he said that he wants to limit the federal government's role.
"If the Republicans regain control of the Senate, we will lay out a plan that provides for a comprehensive examination of housing finance and the federal government's role in housing," Shelby said. "We will then work with whoever is interested in limiting the federal government's role and establishing a housing finance regime that protects the American taxpayer and encourages private sector involvement."
Shelby previously served as chairman of the Banking Committee from 2003 to 2007, and Senate Republican rules prevent members from serving as committee chairman for more than six years.
Consequently, if Republicans gain control of the Senate in November, Shelby is expected to head the committee for two years before turning over the reins to a successor.