H.R. 885: Improved Financial and Commodity Markets Oversight and Accountability Act

H.R. 885

Improved Financial and Commodity Markets Oversight and Accountability Act

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
June 8, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 885 on Monday, June 8, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 885 was introduced on February 4, 2009, by Rep. Larson (D-CT) and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which held a mark-up and reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote on May 5, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.R. 885 would elevate the Inspectors General of the Federal Reserve System (FED), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Futures Trading Commission (FTC), the National Credit Union Administration, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, to Inspectors General appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate.  Under the Inspector General Act of 1978, the definition of these agencies would be changed from "Designated Federal Entities" to "establishments." 

The bill would allow the Inspectors General to select and appoint employees to carry out the functions of the office.  The legislation would also give the Inspectors General subpoena power.  The chairmen of the relevant agencies would be required to take action to address deficiencies identified in a report by an Inspector General.

Background

According to House Report 111-114, the changes made by H.R. 885 primarily affect the process for appointing Inspectors General (IGs)-making these five agencies IGs presidential appointments rather than appointments made by the head of each particular agency. The House Reports that the bill is meant to fix "inconsistencies" in the IG Act that provide for some financial regulatory agencies to appoint their IGs, while others, like the IG of the FDIC, is appointed by the President with the consultation of the Senate. By making the IGs at these five agencies subject to presidential appointments, the House Report contends that the legislation will "create a more consistent and independent structure."

Cost

According to CBO, "enacting H.R. 885 would not have a significant impact on the federal budget."