Committee Approves Bipartisan Regulatory Relief Bills to Help Create Jobs and Grow Our Economy
March 14, 2014 -
The House Financial Services Committee today passed five bills with bipartisan support to provide regulatory relief for America’s small businesses and community financial institutions.
“We all know that creating jobs, hope and opportunity for the American people -- who have lost way too many jobs, way too much hope and way too much opportunity -- is still the number one job we have as members of Congress. We also know in divided government it is always challenging to find common ground. I want to applaud the members who have worked together on a bipartisan basis to bring these common sense bills before this committee,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).
The following is a summary of the bills the committee passed today.
H.R. 3584, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH). The bill was approved 55-0.
H.R. 3584 amends the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to allow privately-insured credit unions to be eligible for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System. H.R. 3584 allows privately-insured credit unions to access the FHLBs’ low-cost, secured borrowings, which would provide a new source of mortgage funding for those financial institutions and their members.
H.R. 2672, the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act, introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX). The bill was approved 55-1.
H.R. 2672 amends the Dodd-Frank Act to create an appeals process for areas to be designated as rural for the purpose of exempting certain loans from the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule. The failure of the CFPB to accurately identify certain areas as a “rural” has made it harder for community financial institutions to offer mortgages to creditworthy borrowers.
H.R. 3623, the Improving Access to Capital for Emerging Growth Companies Act, introduced by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD). The bill was approved by a vote of 56-0.
H.R. 3623 builds on the successes of Title I of the JOBS Act, which created a new class of publicly traded companies known as Emerging Growth Companies (EGCs). The bill reduces burdensome Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration and disclosure requirements to help EGCs access the capital markets more efficiently, streamline the Initial Public Offering process and allow EGCs to deploy their assets to grow and create jobs.
H.R. 4164, the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, introduced by Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL). The bill was approved 51-5.
H.R. 4164 provides a voluntary exemption for all EGCs and other issuers with annual gross revenues under $250 million from the SEC’s onerous requirements to file their financial statements in an interactive data format knows as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). The bill also requires the SEC to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the XBRL requirement and report to Congress within one year after enactment. H.R. 4164 allows small businesses to spend more time focusing on expanding and creating jobs rather than on redundant SEC compliance requirements.
H.R. 4167, the Restoring Proven Financing for American Employers Act, introduced by Rep. Barr. The bill was approved 53-3.
H.R. 4167 amends the the Bank Holding Company Act to allow banks to invest in Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs) issued before January 31, 2014, and clarifies the definition of what constitutes an ownership interest in a covered fund for purposes of Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Volcker Rule. CLOs provide nearly $300 billion in financing to U.S. companies and the legislation will prevent a “fire-sale” of CLOs that were captured by the final rule to implement the Volcker Rule.