Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

McSally Amendment to Support Small Business and Cross-Border Commerce Unanimously Passes House

June 8, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The House of Representatives today unanimously passed U.S. Representative Martha McSally’s amendment to the Financial CHOICE Act. Her amendment will direct the Department of the Treasury to review the impact of existing regulations on community banks.

“In the last decade, Arizona has lost 70 percent of its community banks. The compliance costs of regulations handed down from Washington have made it difficult for small community banking institutions to lend capital to farmers, ranchers, and small businesses that rely on cross-border commerce. Without access to capital, they can’t grow, hire, and increase wages. The impact has rippled through our state’s economy, hurting communities along the southwest border,” said Rep. McSally. “We must prevent illicit activity, but the Administration needs to closely examine any unintended regulatory impact so community financial institutions aren’t forced to close their doors.”  

The federal government’s indiscriminate application of anti-money laundering regulations has led banks to simply close the accounts of customers participating in cross-border commerce due to added compliance costs.  More than 1,900 community financial institutions in the U.S. have closed their doors over the past decade. Rep. McSally’s amendment directs the Department of Treasury to analyze the impact of these regulations and submit a report to Congress on its findings.

“As more and more banks in our region were forced to close their doors, businesses like mine had difficulty accessing the capital we need to grow. This also impacts the choices my employees have for their banking needs.,” said Jaime Chamberlain, President of Nogales, Ariz.-based J-C Distributing Inc, a company that imports and distributes Mexican fruits and vegetables. “This puts our companies and our communities at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the nation and it forces local companies and our foreign partners to look for funding outside of the United States.  I am thankful for Rep. McSally’s amendment to put these regulations under the microscope and evaluate the blow they have had to businesses along the border.”

Her amendment was included in the Financial CHOICE Act, legislation that the House passed today to reform Dodd-Frank’s regulatory labyrinth to address many of its harmful consequences on the financial industry, provide relief to community lenders so they are freed to supporting businesses and jumpstart economic growth.

“Over the past few years, banks in Arizona, particularly Southern Arizona, have been struggling with the onslaught of regulations coming out of Washington,” said Paul Hickman, President and CEO of the Arizona Bankers. “Whether it be money-laundering regulations or those contained in Dodd-Frank, the overzealous regulatory approach is making it more and more difficult to provide the basic banking services our economy depends on. I want to thank Congresswoman McSally for her important amendment that will provide some scrutiny of regulations specifically impacting banking institutions along the border as well as her vote for final passage of the Financial CHOICE Act. These actions will help promote more favorable banking options for businesses and individuals.”

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, Arizona Bankers Association, Electronic Transactions Association, and Fresh Produce Association are in support of Rep. McSally’s amendment.

Click HERE for the text of the amendment.