WASHINGTON - 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.