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GOP targets Wall Street reform, says it's hindering job growth

Republicans in the House will take their first look this week at a series of bills that would roll back certain elements of the Democrats' Wall Street reforms, claiming the new legislation is needed to help spur job growth.

A subpanel of the House Financial Services Committee will review five separate bills related to repealing the Dodd-Frank Act in a hearing Wednesday.

"Provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act not only significantly raise the cost of doing business in America but also send jobs overseas," Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said in a statement. "At a time when the nation's unemployment rate remains near 9 percent, that's unacceptable. The proposals that will be discussed during this hearing will create new jobs and grow our economy."

The Dodd-Frank Act, a comprehensive bill championed by President Obama and Democrats as a response to the recent financial meltdown, passed in July 2010 with no Republican support in the House. Republicans immediately began calling for its repeal, and a bill repealing the full reform package was the first piece of legislation introduced this year by House Tea Party Caucus Chair Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). (The bill is pending in a House committee.)

Mirroring their strategy for rolling back health care reform, Republicans have since worked to defund the new Wall Street reforms. Last month, for instance, House Republicans passed a spending measure (which died in the Senate) that limited funding for the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to $80 million for the rest of the fiscal year -- about half of what the bureau requested.

One of the pieces of legislation the committee will consider Wednesday would repeal a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that created liability for credit rating agencies that gave out inaccurate ratings. Republicans say rolling back that provision would help stabilize the asset-backed securities market. Another bill would repeal the new requirement for advisers of private equity funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which Republicans assert limits their ability to help provide capital to growing companies.

A third bill on the table would exempt more businesses that trade in derivatives from new regulatory requirements, while another bill would exempt more companies, based on their size, from SEC registration. The final bill to be reviewed Wednesday would repeal a provision of Dodd-Frank requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their median annual total compensation of all employees.