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WEEK IN REVIEW
Posted by Staff on December 11, 2015
Committee Passes Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Economic Growth and Consumer Protection

The Financial Services Committee on Wednesday approved several bipartisan bills designed to protect consumers, grow the economy and strengthen government transparency.

The committee also voted to extend the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing so it can continue examining how the U.S. can improve its ability to stem the flow of terrorist financing.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling remarked, "I am proud that the Financial Services Committee continues to pass bipartisan legislation, all focused on the priorities of the American people. These bills can make a positive difference in people’s lives and help build a healthier economy with more opportunities for all. In addition, our Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing will continue its important work to fight the financial war against terrorists."

To view the list of bills that passed, click here.

Committee Questions FSOC Members on "Too Big to Fail" and Lack of Transparency

The Committee also held an oversight hearing Wednesday on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Eight of FSOC’s 10 voting members appeared as witnesses.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said in his opening statement, "FSOC typifies not only the shadow regulatory system but also the unfair Washington system that Americans have come to fear and loathe: powerful government administrators, secretive government meetings, arbitrary rules, and unchecked power to punish or reward. Thus, oversight and reform is paramount."

In its coverage of the hearing, Reuters reported that Republicans on the Committee criticized FSOC for being “secretive and unwilling to share information.”  The American Banker reported that FSOC members “found themselves on the defensive that they were keeping lawmakers and the public in the dark about their activities.”

"You need to become more like us -- more transparent, more open to the American public," Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) advised the witnesses.

"'Do you know that this body gets intelligence briefings from the FBI in regards to ISIS and terrorist attacks?” asked Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI). “I would argue that American lives are in danger by these radical extremists. So we can get FBI briefings, but you won't give us briefings on the analysis that has gone into designation of certain companies in America?"

In addition to concerns about FSOC’s lack of transparency, Committee members “zeroed in on why insurance companies should have been designated” as SIFIs when FSOC’s independent insurance expert dissented in the decisions to designate Prudential and MetLife, reported the American Banker.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rep. Frank Guinta | VIDEO: Guinta Bill Rebukes CFPB to Restore Discounts to Car Buyers

New Hampshire Republican Rep. Frank Guinta (R.-N.H) sponsored a bill that would restore the ability of car dealers to offer discounts to car buyers out of the commission they earn from financing the purchase. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau banned the practice, claiming their was a potential for discrimination.

Weekend Must Reads


Charlotte Observer | Number of community banks keeps falling

Nationwide, the number of traditional banks fell by more than 800 from 2007 through 2013. Most of that decrease was due to the dwindling number of community banks. As community banks consolidate, more market share is being concentrated in the hands of the nation’s biggest banks.

Wall Street Journal | Shouting ‘Racism’ Is a Career Move

A House Financial Services Committee investigation last week does a good job exposing the multiple dishonesties behind the CFPB’s crackdown on supposedly racist auto loans. The story’s most troubling aspect, though, is that Congress, not the press, took the lead in exposing it.

Detroit News | Dodd-Frank slows small business growth

Loans to small businesses are off sharply, down 38 percent since before the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill, which added layers of regulations on the financial industry.

Wall Street Journal | The Consumer Bureau Cover-Up

The Republican staff of the House Financial Services Committee has released a trove of documents showing that CFPB officials knew their information was flawed and even deliberated on ways to prevent people outside the bureau from learning how flawed it was.

Investor's Business Daily |
Hillary Clinton Doubles Down on Dodd-Frank’s Failure

Clinton crows that her re-regulation plan has already won the “praise” of people like former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. What a persuasive endorsement. Frank, the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced on the eve of the crisis that he wanted to “roll the dice” on the housing market – which he did, losing bundles of taxpayer money. 

    On the Horizon 

December 16, 2015 10:30 a.m.
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing

"Examining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Mass Data Collection Program"

  In the News

Washington Examiner | GOP Will Offer Banking Reform Plan to Counter Obama’s

Reuters | Republicans slam U.S. financial stability council as secretive

Wall Street Journal | Hearing Brings New Test for the Financial Stability Oversight Council

American Banker | FSOC Dangerously Secretive, Lawmakers Charge

The Hill | GOP airs gripes to financial oversight panel

Politico Pro | FSOC's insurance member wants Dodd-Frank changes

Politico Pro | Woodall in hot seat at FSOC hearing

The Hill | GOP airs gripes to financial oversight panel

Morning Consult | Republicans Say Financial Regulators Are Unresponsive

Politico Pro | Financial Services Committee approves data security, public housing, investment reform bills

Morning Consult | Top Finance Regulators Brace for Financial Services Showdown

Bloomberg | House Panel Approves Measure Easing Small Bank Debt Issuance

American Banker | House Panel Approves Data Security and Condo Bills

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