Democratic Draft Platform: Renew Glass-Steagall, Explore Postal Banking

A draft of the 2020 national Democratic platform calls for an “up-dated and modernized version” of the Glass-Steagall Act and for an examination of postal banking.

The draft document, which the Democratic National Committee is scheduled to consider on Monday, said the party will push for “a new economic contract that provides access for all to reliable and affordable banking and financial services.”

It also calls for beefing up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and doubling funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions program.

The draft does not provide details about how Glass-Steagall would be reimposed on financial institutions. The original Glass-Steagall Act placed restrictions on depository institution involvement in the investment business. It was repealed in 1999 and since then, politicians from both parties have said it should be renewed.

NAFCU called for a modern version of Glass-Steagall in 2018.

The Democratic platform does not go as far as some postal banking plans proposed by Democrats. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently released a document that was intended to unify Democrats. That plan called for post offices to be used as a means for providing financial services in areas where those services are not readily available.

The draft party platform notes that one in four American households are either unbanked or underbanked. It states that Democrats will support efforts in Congress to guarantee “affordable, transparent, and trustworthy banking services for low- and middle-income families, including bank accounts and real-time payment systems through the Federal Reserve and easily accessible service locations, like postal banking.”

In another section of the document, the Democrats said they will support new revenue streams to keep the Postal Service solvent, including “exploring options to enable unbanked and underbanked Americans to access financial services through the Postal Service.”

Related:

Biden-Sanders ‘Unity’ Agenda: Postal Banking, Stricter Enforcement by CFPB

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