It has been barely six years since the collapse of some of the largest banks in the U.S. set off an historic recession. The economy only recently began showing signs of life, and even then the recovery has left behind most Americans. Those who lost their jobs or their homes to a downturn they had no hand in creating likely will never fully bounce back.

Yet that didn’t stop Congress from repealing part of the law meant to keep it from happening again, and there are indications lawmakers won’t stop there.

A provision of the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” spending bill passed last week rolled back a rule that barred banks from buying and selling risky securities through their FDIC-insured subsidiaries. Instead, reforms passed in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act forced the banks to swap those securities without the backing of the U.S. government, which lessened their value but also meant taxpayers weren’t on the line if something went wrong.

It was a relatively minor part of the Dodd-Frank reform bill, but an important one nonetheless. Banks should not be able to effectively gamble with taxpayer money. They should not be free to enjoy the profits made through risky investments while leaving the rest of us on the hook should those deals turn sour.

It is just those kinds of dealings that increasingly took place in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Worse, the repeal is a sign that Wall Street and its allies in Congress want to turn back the clock on banking oversight. With Republicans set to take over the Senate next month, the financial industry is gearing up to dismantle Dodd-Frank.

And despite an effort by some Democrats — led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and supported by Maine Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud — to remove the banking provision from the spending bill, there remains bipartisan support for revisiting Dodd-Frank.

And why not? Despite its role in causing the Great Recession, profits continue to flow on Wall Street. Congress has benefited from that largesse, with banking giant Citigroup alone spending $5.6 million on lobbying in 2013 and another $4 million in the first three quarters of 2014. Employees and PACs related to Citigroup, which reportedly wrote the repeal language in the spending bill, also gave more than $2.1 million to lawmakers in the midterm elections.

Members of Congress themselves, with an average net worth now of almost $4 million per lawmaker, also have been sheltered from the aftereffects of the 2008 crash.

The same cannot be said of the majority of low- and middle-income families who lost wealth and income, at least, during the economic downturn, and have yet to see it return.

Dodd-Frank is not perfect, and it could benefit from a sincere debate over how to maintain regulatory oversight of banks while also loosening credit to stimulate the economy.

But by allowing banks to rewrite the rules in a way that ignores the lessons of 2008, Congress is setting the stage for yet another financial disaster that won’t effect banks or lawmakers one bit but would certainly hurt the rest of us.

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