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WEEK IN REVIEW


Washington, Sep 16 -

Committee Approves Financial CHOICE Act

“The Financial CHOICE Act will help grow the economy for all Americans, not just those at the top.  It promotes strong and transparent markets to revitalize job creation in our poorest communities and ensures every American has the opportunity to achieve financial independence, no matter where they start out in life,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).  “The bill holds Wall Street accountable with the toughest, strongest, strictest penalties ever – far greater than those in Dodd-Frank.  And as recent headlines attest, obviously stronger penalties are needed.”

The Financial CHOICE Act, which stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs, received strong support from community banks and credit unions, small business groups and conservative organizations.

The bill “would provide meaningful regulatory relief to help community banks foster economic and job growth in their local communities,” said a statement from the Independent Community Bankers of America.

“This bill provides significant regulatory relief essential to restoring economic growth. Republican members of Congress have repeatedly promised to get rid of Dodd-Frank and stop taxpayer funded bailouts. Now they have the opportunity to fulfill that promise,” said a statement from Heritage Action.

“This is an important bill that will truly reform rules governing the financial system, encourage innovation across the system, vastly improve access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and transform a regulatory structure that lacks accountability, is too secretive, and ignores its responsibilities concerning small businesses,” said the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Democrats on the Committee – despite having spent months criticizing the Financial CHOICE Act – failed to offer a single amendment to the bill.

“They had every opportunity to offer amendments and they didn’t, so they basically just rolled over,” Chairman Hensarling said to reporters following the bill’s approval by the committee.

To learn more about the Financial CHOICE Act and to read comments from other organizations praising the bill, click here.

Committee Opens Investigation of Wells Fargo

Chairman Hensarling on Friday said the committee has launched an investigation into alleged fraud that led to the opening of unauthorized customer accounts at Wells Fargo and the role of Washington regulators in monitoring and investigating this activity. As part of the investigation, the committee will be calling John Stumpf, the company’s Chairman and CEO to testify at a hearing later this month.

The committee also asked the heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for all records related to the allegations of fraudulent or improper activity by Wells Fargo employees, as well as any documents or communications between the Bureau and OCC employees in the course of their review of the bank’s sales practices.

The text of the letters can be found here

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
| Durbin Amendment Helps Retailers, Not Consumers

One of the key promises from backers of the Durbin amendment was that consumers would reap the savings in the form of lower retail prices. An independent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has shown that when merchants' debit costs decrease, few merchants reduce product prices to consumers.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) | Blaine's Bulletin: This Week in the House

I am very pleased to report that the Financial Services Committee passed the alternative to the failed Dodd-Frank Act called the Financial CHOICE Act. The current model is not working as consumers, community banks, and credit unions are being dramatically affected.

Weekend Must Reads

New York Sun | Coup Brewing at the Fed?

Not since 1896 — when William Jennings Bryan ran for president on a platform of the free coinage of silver — has America seen quite the kind of battle over inflation that is shaping up in the Congress. This became evident last week, at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on what is becoming an alarming issue: the governance of the regional Federal Reserve Banks and how it could impact policy.

Forbes | The Left's Fed Up Makes A Naked Power Grab For Control Of The Fed

The left is undertaking an amazing back door plan to dramatically increase its influence over the Fed’s interest-rate-setting Open Market Committee.

On the Horizon 

Wednesday, September 21 at 10:00 A.M.
Housing and Insurance Subcommittee
The Future of Housing In America: A Better Way to Increase Efficiencies For Housing Vouchers and Create Upward Economic Mobility

Wednesday, September 21 at 2:00 P.M.
Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee
Corporate Governance:  Fostering a System that Promotes Capital Formation and Maximizes Shareholder Value

Thursday, September 22 at 10:00 A.M.
Full Committee
The Annual Report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council

Thursday, September 22 at 2:00 P.M.
Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee
Examining the Agenda of Regulators, SROs, and Standards-Setters for Accounting, Auditing, and Municipal Securities

In the News

Wall Street Journal | House Financial Services Committee Passes Bill to Overhaul Dodd-Frank Law

American Banker | Dems: 'Thanks, But No Thanks' on Debating Dodd-Frank Replacement

Washington Examiner | GOP's Dodd-Frank replacement clears House panel

Wall Street Journal | Divided Federal Reserve Is Inclined to Stand Pat

Wall Street Journal | Banking Group Finds Fed Stress Tests Likely Illegal

Fox Business | Small-Business Confidence Dragged by Economic Outlook

American Banker |CFPB Court Victory Creates Uncertainty for Marketplace Lenders

Washington Examiner | America's embarrassingly low economic freedom ranking