New "Right-to-Try" Law Challenges FDA Oversight


The change would ease regulations and oversight on more than two dozen financial companies, including BB&T Corp., SunTrust Banks, Fifth Third Bancorp and American Express. Touching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was a red line for Democrats.

His major objection to the bill has nothing to do with Dodd-Frank.

The bill has to pass through a series of committees before it can be taken up for a vote in the Senate.

Supporters of the bill say Dodd-Frank was too blunt an instrument in response to the financial crisis, hurting smaller lenders that played no role in the debacle. After the House vote, Victor Riches, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute, said "Millions of Americans who have been told they are out of options and it's time to get their affairs in order, are closer to having the opportunity for one last treatment, without having to get permission from the federal government first".

"I still hear from patients with serious, life-threatening conditions who remain frustrated with current regulatory processes that prevent them from experimenting with new therapies when everything else has failed them", said Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, during Tuesday's debate on the House floor.

The legislation gives smaller banks relief from post-crisis rules that they've decried as burdensome and costly. With the White House demanding action, House leaders in recent days chose to short-circuit the process by taking up the Senate-passed bill. Under Dodd-Frank, banks with $50 billion or more in assets are in that category and fall under the jurisdiction of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. "Why on earth would we go back there?"

The bill also includes a host of other changes ranging from easing some home mortgage rules to weakening reporting requirements created to protect against racial discrimination in lending.

Ahead of the House vote, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and California's Rep. Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, urged their colleagues not to vote in favor of the bill. They contend it opens taxpayers up to more potential liability should a midsized bank fail.

People walk by a Wall Street sign close to the New York Stock Exchange in New York
People walk by a Wall Street sign close to the New York Stock Exchange in New York

Institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo would continue to abide by tougher rules. Another would allow more companies to file confidential initial public offerings without divulging all their sensitive financial information right away.

Rather than defer to the will of the elected chamber as is usually the case, Conservative senators joined forces with a handful of independent senators earlier this month to insist on two further amendments and send the bill back to the Commons for a second time - a rare move that was last employed in 2006.

The legislation is aimed at especially helping small and medium-sized banks, including community banks and credit unions.

Hensarling wanted to add a number of measures to the Senate bill.

That would leave only a dozen United States banks - including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo - facing the strictest regulations by the Federal Reserve.

Community banks with less than $10 billion in assets will no longer have to comply with the so-called Volcker Rule.

And unlike the initial bill, the approved legislation doesn't require doctors to immediately report problems to the manufacturer.

Force credit-reporting agencies like Equifax and TransUnion to give consumers free credit freezes, but also shield the agencies from certain class-action lawsuits and allow the firms to offer credit checks for mortgage applications.

DNA sampling may help scientists find the Loch Ness monster
While Prof Gemmell is not convinced the Loch Ness monster exists, he hopes it could still throw up some interesting surprises. Gemmell predicts that the team will uncover never-before-documented species, bacteria in particular.

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