Press Releases

Committee Advances 23 Bills


Washington, November 15, 2017 -

WASHINGTON – This week, the Financial Services Committee approved 23 bills largely aimed at ensuring that our economy is working for all working Americans.  Since January, the committee has approved 63 bills.

As Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) said when the committee began considering the proposals on Tuesday, the bills “will increase investment opportunities for more Americans.  They will provide smaller businesses with greater access to the capital markets so those businesses can grow and create jobs.  And certainly, they will deliver much-needed regulatory relief to community banks and credit unions so those Main Street financial institutions can better serve their customers.”

Chairman Hensarling said other bills before the committee this week “will foster greater accountability and transparency at the Federal Reserve and restore congressional accountability for the Fed’s emergency lending” as well as legislation “to better protect our financial system by holding the regime of Iran – the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism – accountable for its illicit activities” and “make sure Congress can exercise effective oversight over any links between that regime and the U.S. financial system.” Finally, he said legislation reforming HUD’s Family Sufficiency program would “broaden the supportive services it can provide to help families in public housing make progress toward economic independence.”

Below is a list of the bills the committee reported favorably to the House for further consideration:

H.R. 1153, Mortgage Choice Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI), the “Mortgage Choice Act of 2017” amends the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by modifying the definition of “points and fees” for purposes of determining whether a mortgage can be a Qualified Mortgage. This bill excludes from the calculation of points and fees insurance and taxes held in escrow and fees paid to affiliated companies as a result of their participation in an affiliated business arrangement. This bill would direct the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) to amend its regulations related to Qualified Mortgages to reflect the new exclusions.

The bill passed 46-13.

H.R. 1638, Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act

Introduced by Representative Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), the “Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act”, requires the Secretary of the Treasury to report to Congress on the assets held by Iran’s most senior political, military and business leaders, and on the probable sources and uses of the assets.  The Treasury Department would publish a public version of the report on its website, in English and in the major languages used within Iran. A classified version, if necessary, would be available to Congress. The legislation also contains a “Sense of Congress” urging the Secretary of the Treasury  to seek information for the report from sources that search and if necessary translate publicly available “high-veracity official records” overseas, and provide methods to search and analyze such data in ways useful to law enforcement.

The bill passed, as amended, 43-16.

H.R. 3093, Investor Clarity and Bank Parity Act

Introduced by Representative Michael Capuano (D-MA), the “Investor Clarity and Bank Parity Act” corrects a statutory error to Section 619 of the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” (also known as the Volcker Rule) that the five federal regulators charged with implementing the Volcker Rule (the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) cannot resolve through the use of existing regulatory authority. When the federal regulators adopted the Volcker Rule in December 2013, the final rule limited the ability of bank holding companies and their affiliates, which includes investment advisers, to sponsor hedge funds and private equity funds (also known as covered funds). Consequently, a covered fund cannot use the name of a sponsor. The legislation eliminates this prohibition and amends the Volcker Rule to simply allow an investment adviser to share a similar name with a covered fund.

The bill passed by voice vote.

H.R. 3221, Securing Access to Affordable Mortgages Act

Introduced by Representative David Kustoff (R-TN), the “Securing Access to Affordable Mortgages Act” amends TILA and the “Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989” to exempt from property appraisal requirements a mortgage loan of $250,000 or less if it appears on the loan creditor's balance sheet for at least three years.  The bill also exempts mortgage lenders and others involved in real estate transactions from incurring penalties for failing to report appraiser misconduct.

The bill passed 32-26.

H.R. 3299, Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act of 2017” amends the “Revised Statutes and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act” to clarify that bank loans that are valid as to their maximum rate of interest in accordance with federal law when made shall remain valid with respect to that rate regardless of whether a bank has subsequently sold or assigned the loan to a third party.

The bill passed 42-17.

H.R. 3978, TRID Improvement Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative French Hill (R-AR), the “TRID Improvement Act of 2017” amends the “Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974” to require the CFPB to allow for the calculation of the discounted rate title insurance companies may provide to consumers when they purchase a lenders and owners title insurance policy simultaneously.

The bill passed 53-5.

H.R. 4015, Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI), the “Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act of 2017” provides for, among other things, the registration of proxy advisory firms with the SEC, disclosure of proxy firms’ potential conflicts of interest and codes of ethics, and the disclosure of proxy firms’ methodologies for formulating proxy recommendations and analyses. 

The bill passed 40-20.

H.R. 4247, Restoring Financial Market Freedom Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Ted Budd (R-NC), the “Restoring Financial Market Freedom Act of 2017” repeals Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Act, which gives the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) the authority to designate certain payments and clearing organizations as systemically important “financial market utilities” (FMUs) with access to the Federal Reserve discount window. The bill also repeals all previous FMU designations announced by the FSOC from July 18, 2012.

The bill passed 33-25.

H.R. 4248, To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to repeal certain disclosure requirements related to conflict minerals, and for other purposes.

Introduced by Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI), H.R. 4248 repeals Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires public companies to disclose in annual reports filed with the SEC whether the company sources “conflict minerals”— tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold— from the Democratic Republic of Congo and its nine neighboring countries.

The bill passed 32-27.

H.R. 4258, Family Self Sufficiency Act

Introduced by Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), H.R. 4258, the “Family Self Sufficiency Act,” would relieve the regulatory burden to administer the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program by combining the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) two separate FSS programs into one program.  In addition, the bill seeks to broaden the supportive services that can be provided to a participant and it would allow tenants who currently reside in privately-owned properties with HUD project-based assistance to participate in the program.  The FSS program, administered by HUD, helps families in public housing and the voucher program make progress toward economic self-sufficiency by combining stable affordable housing with work-promoting service coordination and a rent incentive in the form of an escrow account that grows as the families’ earnings increase.  

The bill passed 58-0.

H.R. 4263, Regulation A+ Improvement Act

Introduced by Representative Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), the “Regulation A+ Improvement Act” increases the amount that companies can offer and sell under SEC Regulation A, Tier II (aka Regulation A+), from $50 million to $75 million, adjusted for inflation by the SEC every 2 years to the nearest $10,000.

The bill passed 37-23.

H.R. 4267, the Small Business Credit Availability Act

Introduced by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Brad Sherman (D-CA), the “Small Business Credit Availability Act” amends the “Investment Company Act of 1940” to modernize the regulatory regime for business development companies (“BDCs”) for the first time since the 1980s. BDCs are investment vehicles designed to facilitate capital formation for small- and middle-market companies. The legislation requires the SEC to streamline the offering, filing, and registration processes for BDCs to eliminate significant regulatory burdens and increases a BDCs’ ability to deploy capital to businesses by reducing its asset coverage ratio—or required ratio of assets to debt—from 200% to 150% if certain requirements are met.

The bill passed 58-2.

H.R. 4270, Monetary Policy Transparency and Accountability Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), this legislation amends the Federal Reserve Act to provide for the Federal Open Market Committee’s annual adoption of a monetary policy strategy and reference policy rules to facilitate accessible communication of how public data inform the conduct of monetary policy. This legislation does not restrict either the Federal Reserve’s choice of or deviations from its strategy and reference rules.

The bill passed 33-26.

H.R. 4278, Independence from Credit Policy Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative French Hill (R-AR), H.R. 4278 provides for the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to engage in asset swaps, whereby the Treasury receives assets from the Federal Reserve that are neither gold nor Treasury securities, nor direct obligations of foreign central banks, or the International Monetary Fund, and in return the Federal Reserve receives Treasury securities of equivalent market value.

The bill passed 33-26.

H.R. 4279, Expanding Investment Opportunities Act

Introduced by Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), the “Expanding Investment Opportunities Act” directs the SEC to amend its rules to enable closed-end funds that meet certain requirements to be considered “well-known seasoned issuers” (WKSIs) and to conform the filing and offering regulations for closed-end funds to those of traditional operating companies, thereby simplifying the registration process and enabling these funds to more easily provide information to investors.

The bill passed 58-2.

H.R. 4281, Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act

Introduced by Representatives Rueben Kihuen (D-NV) and Alex Mooney (R-WV), the “Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act” amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to have the SEC’s Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation identify any unique challenges to rural area small businesses when identifying problems that small businesses have with securing access to capital. H.R. 4281 also requires that the annual report made by the SEC’s Small Business Advocate include a summary of any unique issues encountered by rural area small businesses. 

The bill passed 60-0.

H.R. 4289, To amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to repeal certain disclosure requirements related to coal and mine safety

Introduced by Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV), H.R. 4289 repeals Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires mining companies to include information about mine safety and health violations, orders, citations, legal actions, and mining-related fatalities in quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The disclosure requirements are largely based on the safety and health requirements that apply to mines under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, administered by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The bill passed 33-25.

H.R. 4292, Financial Institution Living Will Improvements Act of 2017

Introduced by Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the “Financial Institution Living Will Improvements Act of 2017” amends Title I of the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” to reform the “living will” resolution plan submission process.  The bill restricts the Federal Reserve Board and FDIC from requiring bank holding companies to submit a “living will” resolution plan more than every two years. This bill requires the Federal Reserve and FDIC to provide feedback to a submitted resolution plan within six months after a bank holding company submits. This bill also requires the Federal Reserve and FDIC to publicly disclose the assessment framework used to review the adequacy of resolution plans.

The bill passed 60-0.

H.R. 4293, Stress Test Improvement Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY), the “Stress Test Improvement Act of 2017” improves the stress testing process for bank holding companies by requiring certain bank holding companies to conduct company-run stress tests once a year rather than semiannually. This bill also requires the Federal Reserve to issue regulations subject to notice-and-comment for conducting stress tests that set forth economic conditions and methodologies, and to assess the effect of the Federal Reserve’s stress-testing models and methodologies on financial stability, credit availability, model risks, and investment cycles. This bill also requires the Federal Reserve to issue regulations, subject to notice-and-comment, for its Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) program, and provides that the Federal Reserve may not subject a bank holding company to its CCAR program more than once every two years, prohibits the Federal Reserve from objecting to a bank holding company’s capital plan based on qualitative deficiencies, and directs the Federal Reserve to establish procedures to respond to inquiries from bank holding companies subject to the CCAR program.

The bill passed 38-21.

H.R. 4294, Prevention of Private Information Dissemination Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative David Kustoff (R-TN), the “Prevention of Private Information Dissemination Act of 2017” establishes criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of living will and stress test determinations and other individually identifiable information by federal officials, specifically with respect to an officer or employee of a federal financial regulatory agency who willfully makes an unauthorized disclosure of certain individually identifiable information or a person who willfully requests or obtains such information under false pretenses.

The bill passed 60-0.

H.R. 4296, To place requirements on operational risk capital requirements for banking organizations established by an appropriate Federal banking agency.

Introduced by Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), this legislation prohibits the establishment of operational risk capital requirements for banking organizations unless they are sensitive to, and based on, an organization’s current activities, businesses or exposures; are determined by a forward-looking assessment of an organization’s potential losses and not based solely on its historic losses; and allow for adjustments based on qualifying operational risk mitigants.

The bill passed 42-18.

H.R. 4302, the Congressional Accountability for Emergency Lending Act of 2017

Introduced by Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO), this legislation amends the Federal Reserve Act and subjects the Federal Reserve’s Section 13(3) lending to Congressional approval, and provides for ready input to lending decisions from supervisory information about bank liquidity and solvency.

The bill passed 34-25.

H.R. 4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act

Introduced by Representative Roger Williams (R-TX), this legislation would require the Secretary of the Treasury to submit a report to Congress with respect to transactions authorized for financial institutions in connection with the export or re-export of aircraft to Iran. In addition to including a list of financial institutions that have engaged in such business with Iran, the report would certify that authorized transactions would not benefit Iranian persons that have transported items for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or provided transportation to persons sanctioned for terrorism, weapons proliferation, or human rights abuses in Syria. The report would also certify that financial institutions that provide aircraft finance for Iran have appropriate due diligence measures in place. If such certifications cannot be made, the Secretary would be required to notify Congress of changes, if any, that will be made to financial institutions’ authorizations. The legislation does not re-impose sanctions lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The bill passed 38-21.

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