President Trump signed executive actions Friday aimed at rolling back Obama-era regulations under the Dodd-Frank financial law that cracked down on big banks, and promised to unveil “major” tax reform next week.
In his first visit to the Treasury Department next to the White House, Mr. Trump signed an executive order directing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to begin a process of simplifying or eliminating some tax rules.
“People can’t do their returns. They don’t know what they’re doing,” Mr. Trump said. “They’re too complicated.”
During this week of the federal tax-filing deadline, critics have demanded that the president finally release his tax returns. Aides have repeatedly said he won’t do so because he’s under audit.
The president said he would come out with a “major announcement” Wednesday with details on his plans for long-awaited tax reform and tax cuts.
Mr. Trump also signed two presidential memoranda Friday ordering Treasury to review what he called “damaging” Dodd-Frank regulations and to review the impact of the law’s “orderly liquidation authority (OLA),” which Republicans have called a bailout for big banks.
The president said the regulations “fail to hold Wall Street firms accountable.”
“They’re doing in some cases the opposite of what they were meant to do,” Mr. Trump said, adding that the regulations “enshrine too big to fail.”
Mr. Mnuchin said that under the first order, he will review “all significant tax regulations” imposed since the start of 2016 and to issue a report that could result in repealing or easing some of those rules.
“If we think it’s too much, we’ll make a recommendation to the president on how to change that,” Mr. Mnuchin told reporters. “”We are focused on making U.S. businesses the most competitive in the world.”
The president’s action places a hold on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s process of designating banks and financial firms “too big to fail,” and on the OLA process.
FSOC, also created by Dodd-Frank, monitors bank’s financial risks and designates certain banks for tougher federal oversight. Conservatives have argued that the process is arbitrary.
Mr. Mnuchin said the executive actions are designed “to make clear what the president’s and the administration’s priorities are.”
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