Committee on Financial Services

Jeb Hensarling

FSC Majority | Week in Review

2015/04/17

House Passes Bipartisan Regulatory Relief Bills for Consumers

As the House marked "Financial Independence Week,” lawmakers passed eight bipartisan regulatory relief bills to promote a healthier economy, preserve consumer choice, and help more Americans achieve the dream of financial independence.

The American dream for so many low and moderate income Americans is that one day they can achieve financial independence,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).  “But, regrettably, over the last six years, middle income paychecks have remained flat or have actually been slightly lower; we know that middle income bank accounts are a lot lower.  Part of the problem, frankly, has been the Dodd-Frank Act.  After its passage the big banks have gotten bigger, the small banks have gotten fewer, the taxpayer has become poorer.” 

Six of the eight bills were passed on the suspension calendar: 

H.R. 299, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act, sponsored by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH):

H.R. 601, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO): 

H.R. 1259, the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act, sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY); 

H.R. 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act, sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI);

H.R. 1367, sponsored by  Rep. Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa); and

H.R. 1480, the SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act, sponsored by Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL).

The other two bipartisan bills both deal with making sure lower and middle income Americans have affordable housing choices.

H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), was approved 286-140.  The bill provides clarity to the calculation of points and fees in mortgage transactions, allowing more loans to be classified as Qualified Mortgages and increasing affordable options for borrowers.

"Hardworking families should not be denied access to a qualified mortgage because of technicalities that are largely out of their control," said Rep. Huizenga, Chairman of the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee.

The other bill, H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, will ensure consumers – especially low and moderate-income consumers – can continue to have access to affordable manufactured housing.  This bipartisan legislation continues existing consumer protections, including protections that prohibit steering consumers to predatory loans.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), said the bipartisan bill will protects "financing options for the millions of Americans who rely on manufactured housing. New regulations that fail to recognize the uniqueness of the manufactured housing industry are taking options off the table for low-income families.”

H.R. 650 passed the House 263-162.

More Indictments of Export-Import Bank Employees Possible, Members Learn at Joint Hearing

Members attending a joint hearing of the Financial Services Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee and Oversight and Government Reform Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules Subcommittee heard the Export-Import Bank’s acting Inspector General reveal that future indictments surrounding the Bank’s activities are possible.

Earlier in the week, the Justice Department charged a former Ex-Im loan officer with bribery, alleging 19 occasions when the former employee accepted cash and other things of value in return for “being influence in the performance of his official act,” the Wall Street Journal, The Hill and other media outlets reported.

Committee leaders called the news “alarming.”

“While this is disturbing enough, the fact that we learned of this only at the end of nearly three hours of testimony, is further evidence of the Bank’s continued and brazen efforts to avoid transparency and accountability. With the Bank’s charter expiring this summer, this adds to the already long list of significant concerns we have over its future viability,” said Chairmen Hensarling, Jason Chaffetz, Huizenga and Jim Jordan.

Earlier in the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Huizenga noted that "since its creation, Ex-Im's taxpayer subsidy has grown exponentially to a whopping $140 billion cap. As the national debt continues to climb over $18 trillion, many fear that these taxpayer-backed loan guarantees put taxpayers dollars at significant risk and raise concern that the Ex-Im is looming towards yet another bailout that the American people simply cannot afford. It has been claimed that while the Export-Import Bank is a self-sustaining agency that receives a net appropriation of $0 from Congress, because these bank loans are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, I believe and many others believe that American taxpayers are at risk if these banks' projects fail. It's important to note that the bank has already received a congressional bailout previously,” Chairman Huizenga said, noting that “from 1992 to 1996, Ex-Im received $9.92 billion in direct appropriations from Congress and the American taxpayers."

Ex-Im is “beyond repair,” said Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules Subcommittee Chairman Jordan (R-OH).  “The reality is that 99.9% of small businesses across America get no assistance from the Ex-Im Bank. The bank is a beneficiary to some of the largest companies in America. I don't fault large companies. They're great, we're glad they're here, we're glad they do the great things in the economy, but they don't need middle-class taxpayers' help to succeed."

For additional information about this hearing, click here.

Witnesses Speak Up for Regulatory Relief

The Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday to hear from community-based lenders and service providers about how the regulatory burden of the Dodd-Frank Act is harming their customers by restricting access to affordable credit.

“This Committee has already heard testimony and explored the significant regulatory onslaught and resulting market consolidation facing depository institutions - our nation’s community banks and credit unions. Today, I am pleased to welcome our witnesses who represent many small businesses and community-based financial institutions to hear their perspective on ever-increasing regulatory burdens,” said Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX). “We must push forward in our bipartisan efforts to provide regulatory relief for our Main Street financial institutions and protect the financial independence of the individuals and families they serve.”

Dennis Shaul, who served as a senior advisor to former Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and is now CEO of the Community Financial Services Association of America, told the subcommittee, “federal legislation that was intended to reform Wall Street has instead been interpreted by the Bureau in ways never intended by Congress ─ to the detriment of consumers.”

"A law that was meant to improve accountability and transparency in the financial system and protect consumers is now being implemented in ways that are anything but transparent. Instead, the CFPB is using suspect and biased data and unpublished research products to support presumptive claims against disfavored nonbank financial products,” added Mr. Shaul.

"The average guy in the oil field that I represent, they come and tell me, 'What business is it of yours, the government, if I want to borrow a $100 today and pay back a $120 at the end of the week,'" said Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM).  “So what you're going to do is you're going to force these people out of business by putting these caps on here and, at the end of the day, the guy borrowing the money says, ‘What business is it of the government if I want to borrow a $100 to get me through the next payday, but you would choke that opportunity off.’"


Committee Seeks Increased Private Sector Participation in Affordable Housing

The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held a hearing on Thursday to find ways to increase the role of the private sector in affordable housing.

Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) said, “We need to look at innovative ways to do more with less, including increased private sector participation in public and affordable housing. And while private capital may not work in every instance, it’s essential that we examine the track record of demonstration programs like Moving-to-Work and the Rental Demonstration Assistance program and public-private partnerships so we can serve more people in need with the limited resources at our disposal. In today’s hearing we will hear from witnesses who have first-hand experience in forging partnerships that benefit communities in need. These are some of the many people and organizations striving to make a difference; we need to provide them with greater flexibility to meet the growing demand they face."


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer | A lot can be accomplished in 50 years

So, what will the future of housing look like? If the objective is to build a system that protects taxpayers and homeowners and allows for a smarter housing safety net, the answer is reform. To ensure efficiency, we need organizational reform at HUD and leadership at the FHA and the Federal Housing Finance Agency that understands the importance of risk management. To protect taxpayers, the FHA must return to its mission and allow for more private market participation. To create a stable housing economy, we need to continue to press for responsible housing finance reform that encourages a culture of sustainability among homeowners. To help those most in need, we must push for innovation at HUD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies that need to reduce the regulatory burdens that those who work tirelessly to serve their communities face.

Weekend Must Reads


Wall Street Journal | How to Revive The Private Mortgage Market
 

The economic logic is clear. Everybody wants more private capital operating in the secondary-mortgage market. But Fannie’s and Freddie’s huge government advantages make it impossible for any private entities to compete. Congress instructed that mortgage-guarantee fees be raised to the level where private financial institutions—using these institutions’ actual capital requirements and cost of capital—can fairly compete. The goal is a more robust, more private, and economically more efficient mortgage market. Taxpayers’ exposure to losses by Fannie and Freddie will also be reduced.

Forbes | How 'Progressive' Policy Weakens African-American Banks

Democrats (along with bureaucrats at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) have tried to go after car dealers and other lenders for “disparate impact” against minorities. Perhaps they should have turned that lens on themselves prior to passing Dodd-Frank. However well-intentioned Democratic lawmakers were in creating Dodd-Frank, its impact is another example of the negative consequences of over-regulation. That’s quite the opposite of “progressive.”

American Banker | No Denying Dodd-Frank’s Role in Bank M&A

“Any regulatory requirement is likely to be disproportionately costly for community banks, since the fixed costs associated with compliance must be spread over a smaller base of assets,” said Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo.

The Hill | ​It’s Time to End the Choke Hold on Consumers and Businesses

American consumers are facing a new threat to the availability, diversity and affordability of goods. Its name is Operation Choke Point and it works just like it sounds. Operation Choke Point is a program run by the federal government that, without written regulation or legislation, encourages banks to discriminate against what the government considers unsavory businesses.

    On the Horizon 

April 22, 2015 10:00 a.m.
Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing Hearing

"A Survey of Global Terrorism and Terrorist Financing"

April 23, 2015 9:15 a.m.
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Hearing

"Examining Regulatory Burdens – Regulator Perspective"

  In the News

Housing Wire | Huge Mortgage Choice Act critic was supporter in August

Detroit News | House approves bill to change mortgage rules

Housing Wire | Mortgage lending and finance industry get boost in housing regulatory reform bills

Associated Press | House approves legislation to ease rules on home loans

The Hill | House passes lending reform bills

The Hill | House passes Wall Street reform revisions

Arkansas Online | House OKs easing of lending rules

Housing Wire | Houses passes Mortgage Choice Act of 2015 by 286-140

Jackson Sun | Affordable housing bill passes House

Bloomberg | Lawmakers Step Up Fed Leak Scrutiny With Interview Requests

The Hill | GOP grills Export-Import Bank president at hearing

Daily Signal | Future Indictments Related to Export-Import Bank Likely, Agency Watchdog Says

Washington Examiner | Export-Import Bank loan officer indicted for bribery, more indictments may be coming

Daily Caller | House GOP Gets Tough with Ex-Im Chairman

Credit Union Times | Credit Union Bills Head for House Vote

Arkansas News | Dodd-Frank Hurting Manufactured Home Loans

Wall Street Journal | Justice Department Charges Former Export-Import Bank Official With Bribery
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Hearing entitled “Examining Regulatory Burdens – Regulator Perspective”

2015/04/16


Hearing entitled “A Survey of Global Terrorism and Terrorist Financing”

2015/04/15


House Oversight and Financial Services Chairs Statement on Future Ex-Im Indictments

2015/04/15

According to the acting Inspector General of the Export-Import Bank, Michael McCarthy, future indictments surrounding the bank’s activities are possible, including additional indictments related to former loan officer Johnny Gutierrez. McCarthy made these comments to lawmakers during a joint House Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing today.

Upon hearing this news Chairmen Hensarling, Chaffetz, Huizenga, and Jordan released the following statement:
 
“On the heels of news that Johnny Gutierrez was indicted for bribery, it is alarming to hear that even more indictments for fraud related to Ex-Im Bank activities are expected. While this is disturbing enough, the fact that we learned of this only at the end of nearly three hours of testimony, is further evidence of the Bank’s continued and brazen efforts to avoid transparency and accountability. With the Bank’s charter expiring this summer, this adds to the already long list of significant concerns we have over its future viability.”
 
Full coverage of the hearing can be viewed here.

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Hensarling Speaks in Favor of Bipartisan Mortgage Choice Act

2015/04/14

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following floor statement in support of H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN):

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for his leadership on our committee and for bringing this bill through our committee on a strong, bipartisan vote.

I’ve got to tell you, Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that the House Financial Services Committee just a couple of weeks ago voted out 11 different bills to help American families achieve that coveted goal of financial independence.

Part and parcel of that quest, that dream is the dream of home ownership. Regrettably there are some people within this body who believe in bipartisanship more in theory than they do in practice. I regret those who supported the bill before they were against it, but that is where we are today, Mr. Speaker.

What we are really about here is trying to ensure that low and moderate income people do not have their federal government protect them out of their homes. And what we have seen is bad and dumb regulations out of Washington do just that. The goal of consumer protection ought to be to help empower consumers to buy homes they can afford to keep; that we have competitive, transparent, innovative markets that are vigorously policed for force, fraud and deceptive advertising. That’s the vision we have on this side of the aisle and frankly it even is the vision that some on that side of the aisle have as well.

So, Mr. Speaker, this is an incredibly modest but still important bill. By definition if it is bipartisan it’s going to be modest. I’m somewhat shocked that under our rules and procedures that this would not be on the suspension calendar. In fact, in the last Congress there was not one single vote cast to object to this bill from the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Huizenga, the Chairman of our Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee -- a real leader on housing opportunity for low and moderate income Americans on our committee.

Not a single dissenting vote, but I guess that was before, again, the left hand knew what the far left hand was doing. Now all of a sudden we’ve entered yet another fact-free zone and we’re having all of this incredible verbiage about Wall Street when all this bill is doing is leveling the playing field between those firms that would be affiliated and those that would not so consumers can have a few more choices and benefit from lower costs as they try to get their American dream.

If we follow the logic of the far left, McDonald’s could serve you a burger but they could no longer serve you fries. You would have to go across the street to Burger King for your fries there. I guess National Tire and Battery would have to be National Tire. They couldn’t sell you a battery anymore.

Consumers would be protected and not have their choices recognized. I guess the phone company could no longer offer you a discount on internet and cable and phone put together because, my Lord, those are affiliations, Mr. Speaker.

Apparently the far left wants to ensure that consumers are stripped of their economic liberties to make choices for themselves, to be able to get discounts when products are put together; I don’t understand it.

We are trying to ensure that low and moderate income Americans have convenience, they have choice, that they have lower prices. The Truth in Lending Act will apply, should apply; we have to protect consumers against force and fraud and deception but we’ve got to quit protecting consumers right out of their homes.

Again, I want to thank the gentleman, Mr. Huizenga from Michigan, for doing everything he can to help this segment of our American population. So often we hear the left and the far left talk about affordable housing. Once again, it’s something they recognize in theory; it’s just not anything they want to support in practice. This is an affordable housing bill. Consumers will have choice under this bill, thus the name.

Yet there are those on the far left who would hurt the most vulnerable in our society, who would deny them fundamental economic liberties to choose the mortgages they want, to allow them their American dream of home ownership.

That is not right. That is not fair. That is not economic justice and that is why, Mr. Speaker, it is so critical today that we support H.R. 685. It was designed to be a bipartisan bill; it should be a bipartisan bill and I encourage every single Member to adopt it. I thank the gentleman from Michigan for his leadership.

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Hensarling Urges Democrats to Support Bipartisan Bills During Financial Independence Week

2015/04/14


 
CLICK HERE TO WATCH
 

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following remarks at this morning’s House Republican leadership press conference to discuss the committee’s bipartisan regulatory relief bills as part of “Financial Independence Week” in the House of Representatives:   

Well no day quite like tax day to focus one’s attention on the lack of financial independence.  The American dream for so many low and moderate income Americans is that one day they can achieve financial independence.  But, regrettably, over the last six years, middle income paychecks have remained flat or have actually been slightly lower; we know that middle income bank accounts are a lot lower.  Part of the problem, frankly, has been the Dodd-Frank Act. 

After its passage the big banks have gotten bigger, the small banks have gotten fewer, the taxpayer has become poorer.  The House Financial Services Committee that I have the responsibility of leading recently marked up 11 different bills – all of which passed on a bipartisan basis – that would provide modest clarifications to that act to help empower lower and moderate income Americans to perhaps buy that first home, in one case a manufactured house, in other cases to get a slight break on their closing costs in what we call points and fees. 

But the big contest we have now is that the left hand doesn’t always know what the far left hand is doing.  And notwithstanding the fact that these bills passed on a bipartisan basis, some believe that Dodd-Frank was chiseled in stone, that it came down from Mount Sinai, that it’s a matter of ideology.  But we have struggling constituents who want to own that first home, who want a break on their closing costs. 

I’m hopeful that as these bills have come out of committee – we had six of them on suspension yesterday, we’ll have two of them on the floor today – that all Democrats will agree with Barney Frank himself, who believes that his law was not sacrosanct.  He’s indicated at least a half a dozen areas where this law can be amended.  

We hope that this is not a triumph of ideology over the plight of low and moderate income Americans who richly deserve help on their road to financial independence.

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Hensarling Praises Bipartisan Legislation to Help Americans Own a Home They Can Afford to Keep

2015/04/14

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling delivered the following floor statement in support of H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) and co-sponsored by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ):

I thank the gentleman for yielding but more importantly I thank him for his leadership and I thank him for standing up for so many of the downtrodden -- the low and moderate income Americans from sea to shining sea who want to realize some piece of the American dream.

They want to own a home. Now maybe it’s not going to be quite as nice as a home that some Member of Congress might live in. But it’s going to be their home. And in this case it’s going to be a manufactured home. I can say for many of the people who live in the Fifth District of Texas, if it wasn’t for manufactured housing they wouldn’t have a house.

As the gentleman from Tennessee so eloquently said as this legislation was being marked up in our committee, there are so many on the left and the far left who want to protect consumers right out of their homes. That’s shameful, Mr. Speaker. It’s absolutely shameful. They should have the same equal opportunity to own a home as any Member of this body and yet my friends on the other side of the aisle would take it away from them.

They’ve got a bumper sticker slogan here, “Dodd Frank: We’re going to aim at Wall Street.”  But when they aim at Wall Street they’re hitting Main Street. They’re hitting Main Street and low and moderate income Americans are suffering. We have bank after bank, credit union after credit union -- we’re talking community financial institutions -- who are saying without the legislation of the gentleman from Tennessee they’ve got to get out of the business.

Do you know what that means, Mr. Speaker? It means people lose their opportunities to own that first home which might just be a manufactured house. First Arkansas Bank and Trust, we heard from them, “Our bank has a long history of helping consumers, especially those who for some reason cannot qualify for secondary market financing at the time. Due to the fact that this type of financing is now overly-burdened by the Qualified Mortgage standards, we have ceased this type of financing.”

I heard from the Central Maine Credit Union. By the way, we have not mentioned Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. No, these are community financial institutions, Mr. Speaker. Five County Credit Union wrote me, “Five County has no longer been offering mobile home loans to its members due to the federal legislation.” First National Bank of Milaca, but given that it isn’t a money-center bank on Wall Street we’re a little less familiar with its name, this is in Minnesota. “The high-priced mortgage rules have caused my bank to reduce the number of real estate mortgages we make on certain types of houses, specifically mobile homes.”  I could go on and on, I’ve got a stack of these, Mr. Speaker.

And that is why the gentleman from Tennessee, with his able leadership, has brought forth legislation -- bipartisan legislation, I might add -- almost half of the Democrats on our committee supported it. The Ranking Member supported it before she was against it. I don’t quite understand the change of mind. The need is still as great. People are suffering. The low and moderate income Americans have been falling behind. Here’s a chance to let them have an opportunity to get into a mobile home. But no no no, we’ve got a Wall Street bumper sticker slogan here and it doesn’t matter who will get hurt.

Well it does matter.  It matters a lot, Mr. Speaker. We need to ensure that every American -- regardless of their income -- in a competitive, transparent, innovative capital market that they have the opportunity to finance that mobile home. Every American should have that opportunity. Every single American should have that opportunity.

And it’s the gentleman from Tennessee who is hearing their voices and is representing their voices on the House floor today. And, again, I want to thank him for his leadership and thank him for the thousands and thousands across the Fifth District of Texas that I have the privilege and honor of representing. Just because they are low income, he knows they still deserve that chance for the American dream. He is fighting for their American dream.

This was compromise language, Mr. Speaker. This isn’t the bill I wanted, it’s not the bill he wanted. It was compromise language and in fact the Ranking Member supported an even broader provision in the previous Congress. But what has happened is, yet again, the left hand doesn’t always know what the far left hand is doing. And the far left hand has decided that all of a sudden we are going to aim at Wall Street banks. It doesn’t matter if any person working at a Wal-Mart, or working at a Whataburger loses their chance at the American dream.

That has to stop. We need to support the legislation of the gentleman from Tennessee and I urge the House to adopt it.

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House Passes Bipartisan Regulatory Relief for Consumers

2015/04/14

As part of “Financial Independence Week” in the House of Representatives, eight bipartisan bills from the Financial Services Committee were approved to promote a healthier economy, preserve consumer choice, and help more Americans achieve the dream of financial independence.

“The American dream for so many low and moderate income Americans is that one day they can achieve financial independence,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).  We are trying to ensure that low and moderate income Americans have convenience, that they have choice, that they have lower prices.”

The bipartisan bills approved by the House this week are:

H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) and co-sponsored by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), will ensure consumers – especially low and moderate-income consumers – can continue to have access to affordable manufactured housing.  This bipartisan legislation continues existing consumer protections, including protections that prohibit steering consumers to predatory loans.

H.R. 650 passed the House on April 14 by a vote of 263-162.

H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), provides clarity to the calculation of points and fees in mortgage transactions, allowing more loans to be classified as Qualified Mortgages and increasing affordable options for borrowers..  The bill does not allow “high-cost” loans to qualify as Qualified Mortgages but allows loans with the same points and fees to be treated equally under the law.

H.R. 685 passed the House on April 15 by a vote of 286-140.

H.R. 299, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act, sponsored by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and co-sponsored by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), allows privately insured state chartered credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which would help them better serve the financial needs of consumers. 

H.R. 299 passed the House on April 13 by voice vote.

H.R. 601, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and co-sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), reduces confusion among consumers by clarifying that they will receive privacy notices after opening a new account when their financial institution’s privacy policies change rather than an annual notice. 

H.R. 601 passed the House on April 13 by voice vote.

H.R. 1259, the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act, sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and co-sponsored by Rep. Reuben Hinojosa (D-TX), provides a petition process for areas to be designated as rural for the purpose of federal consumer financial laws, which could enable more loans to rural borrowers to qualify for special treatment under CFPB rules. 

H.R. 1259 passed the House on April 13 by a vote of 401-1.

H.R. 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act, sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), brings greater transparency and accountability to the CFPB by subjecting it to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Only three agencies are exempted by statute from open meeting provisions in the Federal Advisory Committee Act – the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Reserve.  The CFPB is not involved in intelligence collection, covert operations, or the formation of monetary policy, so there is no reason that it cannot hold its committee and subcommittee meetings in public. 

H.R. 1265 passed the House on April 13 by a vote of 401-2.

H.R. 1367, sponsored by  Rep. Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa), improves check-clearing wait times in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands by extending the application of the Expedited Funds Availability Act. 

H.R. 1367 passed the House on April 13 by voice vote.

H.R. 1480, the SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act, sponsored by Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL) and co-sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), provides assurance for financial institutions that privileged information shared between federal banking regulators and state regulatory agencies will be protected and remain confidential. 

H.R. 1480 passed the House on April 13 by a vote of 401-0.

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House to Consider Bills to Help Provide Financial Independence and Regulatory Relief

2015/04/13

This week, the House will consider a number of bipartisan bills recently passed by the Financial Services Committee to promote a healthier economy, preserve consumer choice, and help Americans achieve the dream of financial independence.

The explosive growth of regulation following the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act has made it significantly harder for community banks and credit unions to survive and serve consumers.  New regulations and higher compliance costs have accelerated the pace of industry consolidation and forced many small banks and credit unions to close their doors.  Since the passage of Dodd-Frank nearly five years ago, big financial institutions have gotten bigger and small financial institutions have become fewer.

As a result, consumers are finding they have less access to affordable credit and that their local financial institution can no longer provide them with the products and services they want and need, such as free checking or affordable home mortgages.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has said the committee has no more “urgent priority” than passing regulatory relief legislation for hometown banks and credit unions.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that community banks and credit unions are withering on the vine. We are losing, on average, more than one a day and they are not perishing of natural causes,” said Chairman Hensarling.  “The sheer weight, volume, cost, complexity and uncertainty of federal regulation is a burden that is killing them off. And as they die, unfortunately, so do the dreams of millions of our fellow citizens who rely upon these community financial institutions to achieve their American dream of financial independence.”

Bills to be considered under a rule:

H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) and co-sponsored by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), will ensure consumers – especially low and moderate-income consumers – can continue to have access to affordable manufactured housing. 

H.R. 650 passed the committee on March 26 by a vote of 43-15.

H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), provides clarity to the calculation of points and fees in mortgage transactions, allowing more loans to be classified as Qualified Mortgages and increasing affordable options for borrowers.    H.R. 685 passed the committee on March 26 by a vote of 43-12. 

The House passed the Mortgage Choice Act by voice vote when it was considered during the 113th Congress on June 9, 2014.

Bills to be considered under suspension:

H.R. 299, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act

Sponsor:  Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)

Allows privately insured state chartered credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which would help them better serve the financial needs of consumers.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 395-0 during the 113th Congress.

H.R. 601, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act

Sponsor:  Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Reduces confusion among consumers by clarifying that they will receive privacy notices after opening a new account when their financial institution’s privacy policies change rather than an annual notice.  The House passed a similar bill by voice vote during the 113th Congress.

H.R. 1259, the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act

Sponsor:  Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)

Provides a petition process for areas to be designated as rural for the purpose of federal consumer financial laws, which could enable more loans to rural borrowers to qualify for special treatment under CFPB rules.  The bill passed the House by voice vote during the 113th Congress.

H.R. 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act

Sponsor:  Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI)

Brings greater transparency and accountability to the CFPB by subjecting it to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Only three agencies are exempted by statute from open meeting provisions in the Federal Advisory Committee Act – the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Reserve.  The CFPB is not involved in intelligence collection, covert operations, or the formation of monetary policy, so there is no reason that it cannot hold its committee and subcommittee meetings in public.  This bill passed the committee by voice vote during the 113th Congress.

H.R. 1367, clarifying the Expedited Funds Availability Act’s application to U.S. territories

Sponsor:  Rep. Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa)

Improves check-clearing wait times in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands by extending the application of the Expedited Funds Availability Act.  The bill passed the House by voice vote during the 113th Congress.

H.R. 1480, the SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act

Sponsor: Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL)

Provides assurance for financial institutions that privileged information shared between federal banking regulators and state regulatory agencies will be protected and remain confidential.  The bill passed the House by voice vote during the 113th Congress.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Committee Schedule for the Week of April 13

2015/04/10

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced the committee’s hearing schedule for the week of April 13.

Wednesday, April 15 at 10:00 A.M.- A joint hearing with the Financial Services Committee’s Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee and Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules Subcommittee to examine efforts to reform the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The hearing will take place in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Wednesday , April 15 at 1:00 P.M.- A Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing to examine regulatory burdens on non-depository financial institutions.

The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Thursday, April 16 at 9:15 A.M. - A Housing and Insurance Subcommittee hearing to examine the future of housing in America and ways to increase private sector participation in affordable housing.

The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

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Hearing entitled “The Future of Housing in America: Increasing Private Sector Participation in Affordable Housing”

2015/04/09


MEDIA ADVISORY: HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND OVERSIGHT SUBCOMMITTEES TO EXAMINE STATUS OF EXPORT-IMPORT BANK REFORMS

2015/04/09

House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, and Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules, will examine Export–Import Bank reforms including the 2012 reauthorization report, during a hearing on Wednesday, April 15, at 10 am.

“The Export-Import Bank has long been broken and it is our responsibility to closely examine its future viability. Another year has passed and once again Ex-Im has failed to implement necessary reforms to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse. During the hearing, we’ll closely review Ex-Im’s repeated failures in basic transparency and accountability to both Congress and hardworking taxpayers. A continuation along the current course poses far too much risk for our economy and taxpayers  which we simply cannot allow.” – Chairmen Hensarling, Chaffetz, Huizenga, and Jordan.
 

HEARING DETAILS:

WHAT:

“Oversight of Efforts to Reform Export-Import Bank of the United States”

Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, Chairman Bill Huizenga (R-MI)

Oversight Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules, Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH)

WHERE:

Oversight and Government Reform Hearing Room
2154 Rayburn House Office Building

DATE:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TIME:

10:00 a.m. EST

INVITED WITNESS LIST:

Mr. Michael T. McCarthy

Acting Inspector General

Office of Inspector General, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Mr. Mark S. Thorum

Assistant Inspector General for Inspections and Evaluations

Office of Inspector General, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Honorable Nathan Sheets

Undersecretary for International Affairs

U.S. Department of Treasury

Honorable Fred P. Hochberg

Chairman and President

Export-Import Bank of the United States

Kimberly M. Gianopoulos

Director

International Affairs and Trade Team, Government Accountability Office


The meeting is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast here.  

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Committee Leaders Call on Federal Agencies to Disavow Operation Choke Point

2015/04/09

Republican leaders on the House Financial Services Committee are calling on federal financial regulatory agencies to publicly disavow their “past, present, and future involvement in Operation Choke Point or any similar operation” in letters sent Wednesday.

The committee Republicans also request that the agencies take internal actions to ensure “deposit account terminations are based on sound reasoning and potential risk, not political motive.”

“The Financial Services Committee will continue to investigate this matter. Your proactive efforts to require your staff to follow similar guidelines as those issued by the FDIC would help demonstrate to Congress, the public, and the financial institutions that you regulate” that agencies take seriously “the need for transparency and fairness in examinations.”

The letters were delivered on Wednesday to the heads of the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the National Credit Union Administration.

A list of members who signed the letters follows:

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Chairman Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI)

Letter to OCC
Letter to CFPB
Letter to Federal Reserve
Letter to NCUA

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Hearing entitled “Examining Regulatory Burdens on Non-Depository Financial Institutions”

2015/04/08


Joint Hearing with the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules entitled, “Oversight of Efforts to Reform the Export-Import Bank of the United States”

2015/04/08


Continuation of Markup of H.R. 299, H.R. 601, H.R. 650, H.R. 685, H.R. 1195, H.R. 1259, H.R. 1265, H.R. 1367, H.R. 1408, H.R. 1480, and H.R. 1529

2015/03/25


Markup of H.R. 299, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015; H.R. 601, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act; H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2015; H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act of 2015; H.R. 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act; H.R. 1259, the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act; H.R. 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act; H.R. 1367, to amend the Expedited Funds Availability Act to clarify the application of that Act to American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands; H.R. 1408, the Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Requirements Act of 2015; H.R. 1480, the SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act; H.R. 1529, the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2015; and a Resolution to establish the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing

2015/03/22


Hearing entitled “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Role in Operation Choke Point”

2015/03/17


Hearing entitled “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations, and FY 2016 Budget Request”

2015/03/17


Hearing entitled “Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement”

2015/03/12


There is no media available for this committee.

Contact Information

2129 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7502
Fax 202-226-0471
financialservices.house.gov


Membership

Andy Barr

KENTUCKY's 6th DISTRICT

Robert Dold

ILLINOIS' 10th DISTRICT

Sean Duffy

WISCONSIN's 7th DISTRICT

Stephen Fincher

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Scott Garrett

NEW JERSEY's 5th DISTRICT

Frank Guinta

NEW HAMPSHIRE's 1st DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

French Hill

ARKANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Bill Huizenga

MICHIGAN's 2nd DISTRICT

Randy Hultgren

ILLINOIS' 14th DISTRICT

Robert Hurt

VIRGINIA's 5th DISTRICT

Peter King

NEW YORK's 2nd DISTRICT

Mia Love

UTAH's 4th DISTRICT

Frank Lucas

OKLAHOMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Patrick McHenry

NORTH CAROLINA's 10th DISTRICT

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Mick Mulvaney

SOUTH CAROLINA's 5th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Steve Pearce

NEW MEXICO's 2nd DISTRICT

Robert Pittenger

NORTH CAROLINA's 9th DISTRICT

Bruce Poliquin

MAINE's 2nd DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

David Schweikert

ARIZONA's 6th DISTRICT

Steve Stivers

OHIO's 15th DISTRICT

Marlin Stutzman

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Tipton

COLORADO's 3rd DISTRICT

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Lynn Westmoreland

GEORGIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT