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Opinion: McCaskill, Blunt break from partisan pack for Missourians’ benefit

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Amid all the political noise coming out of Washington, D.C., something quite unusual happened in the Senate last year that Missourians need to know about.

A bipartisan group of 24 senators sponsored legislation that would make the first substantial reforms to the nation’s financial system since 2010. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act promises to spur economic growth and job creation in Missouri and the United States.


Missourians should commend this bill and the people who made it happen, including Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. Together with their colleagues, they have shown what can be accomplished when lawmakers of different parties, in good faith, work together to solve real problems.

Consensus-minded senators forged a deal with commonsense, targeted changes that will allow banks to better serve their customers and communities without compromising safety and soundness. This bipartisan bill will give more creditworthy borrowers in Missouri the chance to get the mortgages they need to buy homes. It will allow more deserving small-business owners to get the loans they need to expand and hire more workers. Community bankers will be able to spend more time serving their customers’ needs instead of racking up hours each day to comply with federal regulations intended for much more complex institutions.

Why did Sens. McCaskill and Blunt support these important changes? They listened to bankers across the Show-Me State and took the time to understand the challenges banks face in serving their communities because of excessive and ill-tailored regulations.

Unfortunately, some in Congress are making false claims about this bill, arguing that it “rolls back” regulations. It does nothing of the sort. It makes sensible changes that represent seven years of lessons about what’s working – and what’s not – in financial regulation. Top financial regulators also have called for changes and voiced support for the proposal.

The good news is so many Democrats and Republicans support this bill that it stands an excellent chance of passing the Senate. It’s already cleared the Banking Committee on a strong, bipartisan vote, which bodes well for success in the full Senate. If that happens, it will need to be reconciled with similar proposals in the House of Representatives, but the prospects for this legislation eventually becoming law are good.


Missourians should support this bill and applaud McCaskill and Blunt for breaking from the partisan pack to get something done. This spirit of bipartisanship shows there’s no reason Congress can’t tackle other tough issues in the same way.

Shaun Burke is president and CEO of Springfield-based Guaranty Bank and vice chairman of the Missouri Bankers Association. He has 30 years of banking experience. Burke can be reached at sburke@gbankmo.com.

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