- Progressives blame a 2018 rollback of banking regulations for the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
- The law was approved by Republicans — but it could not have passed without Democrat support.
- These 13 current members of the Senate Democratic faction helped Republicans pass the law.
After the collapse of the Silicon Valley bank, a 2018 bill championed by Republicans and former President Donald Trump came under renewed scrutiny.
But the bill could not have passed the Senate — which needs 60 votes to pass most legislation — without the support of several Democrats.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act was a package of banking reforms that watered down aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act, a series of new regulations introduced after the 2008 financial crisis.
Specifically, the legislation raised the threshold at which a bank is considered “too big to fail” from $50 billion in assets to $250 billion, subjecting banks below that threshold to less regulatory scrutiny.
Silicon Valley Bank reported $212 billion in assets in the final months of 2022, just below the higher threshold.
Progressives have since seized on the law as a key reason for the bank’s failure.
“To put it bluntly. The failure of Silicon Valley Bank is a direct result of an absurd 2018 banking deregulation bill signed into law by Donald Trump, which I strongly oppose,” independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said in a statement Sunday.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wrote in the New York Times that the SVB’s failure was “entirely avoidable” and called for the “dangerous” 2018 legislation to be repealed.
And at the time, she directly criticized her fellow Democrats for supporting what she had dubbed the “Bank Lobbyist Act.”
“This law would not be on the way to becoming law without the support of these Democrats,” she said wrote on Twitter at that time.
—Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 6, 2018
And his progressive Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California said on Monday that “too many” Democrats voted for the law.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, one of the then 17 Democratic senators who voted for the bill, has since defended his vote.
“I think it brought in a fair amount of regulation for mid-sized banks,” Warner said on ABC News on Sunday, adding, “these mid-sized banks needed some regulatory relief.”
After Senate approval in March 2018, the bill passed the House of Representatives in May, when then-Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — now an independent member of the Senate’s Democratic faction — joined 32 other Democrats in support. It was signed by Trump days later.
Since 2018, some of the Democrats who supported the bill have either retired or lost re-election. But those who stay are likely to face questions from the press and peers over the coming weeks about the 2018 legislation, especially as progressives push to repeal it.
Here are the 13 members of the Senate Democratic faction who supported the bill:
- Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado
- Senator Tom Carper of Delaware
- Senator Chris Coons of Delaware
- Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
- Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia
- Sen. Angus King of Maine
- Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia
- Senator Gary Peters of Michigan
- Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
- Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
- Senator Jon Tester of Montana
- Senator Mark Warner of Virginia