The Senate unanimously approved two amendments introduced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) to the Majority's Budget resolution that passed early Saturday.
Boozman's working to ease regulatory burdens imposed on community banks caused by the Dodd-Frank bill. While community banks were facing growing regulations prior to its passage, the financial reform law has exacerbated those burdens, leading many of these local institutions to wonder if they will be able to survive, much less grow and thrive. The Boozman Amendment (#389) creates a fund in the Senate's Budget to accommodate any future legislation that would ease regulatory burdens on community banks that have to comply with rules imposed by the Dodd-Frank bill.
"We need regulations to ensure our financial system remains on a sound foundation. However the one-size-fits-all approach to regulating our banks is not the answer. Community banks didn't cause the 2008 financial crisis and they simply can't afford the burdens of complying with the increased regulation. The additional rules make it very difficult for these institutions to serve the community in their current capacity," Boozman said. "I'm happy to see my Senate colleagues support reducing the onerous regulations imposed on our community banks."
Boozman's efforts to protect private property rights were also supported in the Senate. The Boozman Amendment (#527) would establish a deficit reduction fund in the Senate Budget to accommodate future legislation related to the protection private property rights. This amendment specifically discourages eminent domain abuse while preserving the legitimate use of eminent domain under our Constitution, for customary purposes, such as to acquire property for public use, for public rights of way, to acquire abandoned property, or to remove immediate threats to public health and safety.
"Eminent domain abuse occurs when private property is taken by the government and transferred to another private owner, not for any legitimate reason, but just because the government thinks it knows what's best. I'm pleased senators showed their support for protecting property owners' rights. We need to focus on policies that encourage ownership and defend the rights of property owners against government abuse of power," Boozman said.
Finally, the Senate approved an amendment introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Boozman that will strengthen and reform Federal offices of Inspectors General (OIGs), and reduce OIG vacancies. There are currently IG vacancies at the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, and the Agency for International Development. These major departments and agencies have been without an IG since at least 2011. The Department of State's IG Office has been vacant since December 2007.
"IGs are responsible for saving billions of dollars every year, and they fight on the front lines against waste, fraud, criminal activity, violations of civil law and regulation, and other inappropriate activities within Federal Agencies," Boozman said. "I had filed an amendment (#188) to address these IG vacancies, but I was glad to join with Senator Shaheen on her amendment and make this a bipartisan effort to support IG oversight of government agencies. Filling vacant IG positions is an important part of the President's role in creating an accountable government that works for the people."