GUEST COMMENTARY: Dodd-Frank reforms show Washington can work

A bipartisan group of senators — Democrats, Republicans and one Independent — voted to pass the first set of substantial reforms to our nation’s financial system since 2010.

The bill that cleared the Senate was the result of multiple hearings, broad stakeholder input, and thoughtful negotiations between lawmakers of differing parties and views.

As Senate leaders work with the House to get this bill to the president’s desk for his signature, we thank Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan, who supported this bill on the floor.

Why should voters in Alaska care about this unusual moment of unity? The bill is full of targeted regulatory reforms that will help Alaska’s community banks better serve customers and communities.

For example, the bill makes tangible improvements that will streamline the mortgage process and free up credit to help banks get borrowers into new homes with the right kind of mortgage. It will help small business owners get loans to expand and hire more employees. And it will help bankers devote more time to front-line customer service, rather than spending hours each day working to comply with federal regulations that were supposed to apply only to far bigger, more complex banks.

Consumers, business owners and bankers have been saying for years that there are too many regulatory impediments to growth in their communities. Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan deserve credit for listening — and responding.

Their support for this bill will help fuel economic growth and job creation in communities across the country. We join with people across the country to support this bipartisan approach to solving problems. And we support our senators and other lawmakers who chose the path of hard work and compromise.

We look forward to the House building on the solid bipartisanship that achieved this important victory in the Senate, and the President signing this into law soon. And thanks again to Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Sullivan for leading the way and showing that Washington can work together on behalf of the American people.

Joe Schierhorn is the President and CEO of Northrim Bank and President of the Alaska Bankers Association.

03/21/2018 - 1:18pm