Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, made the following statement in response to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announcement that the comment period for the agencies’ proposed Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule will be extended by 30 days, giving the public 90 days to comment instead of the original 60 days after the proposal was published in the Federal Register.
“I am pleased that our efforts have resulted in regulators providing a 30-day extension of the comment period for Otting’s proposed CRA rule. While this extension is welcome, I continue to believe that the public deserves a longer period of time to review the proposal. Therefore, I am going to continue to push for the 120-day comment period that community banks and many other stakeholders have asked for. In December, I and other lawmakers wrote to the regulators to request that they provide public comment period of no less than 120 days to ensure that the public has sufficient time to review the proposed rule and give substantive feedback, and several of us attended a public meeting of the FDIC’s board to deliver the letter. I have also voiced deep concerns about the misguided proposed rule and the harmful consequences it could have for communities across the country. Comptroller Otting testified that there is a long list of ‘misconceptions’ about his proposal, and given the need for real clarity, I would emphasize that today’s extension is insufficient and that regulators should not rush this process.
“The Community Reinvestment Act is a critical law that was put in place to prevent redlining and ensure that banks serve and make responsible investments in the communities where they are chartered. Any proposed changes to the implementation of the law must not be rushed and all parties must have the opportunity to analyze and publicly weigh in on those changes.
“The Committee will be conducting further oversight in this matter, including at a hearing in May, when OCC Comptroller Otting, FDIC Chairman McWilliams and other prudential regulators will appear before the Committee for testimony. At that hearing they will be called on to answer the many unanswered questions about the proposed rule.”
Chairwoman Waters is leading the fight against the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the Community Reinvestment Act.
In January, Chairwoman Waters convened a hearing entitled, “The Community Reinvestment Act: Is the OCC Undermining the Law’s Purpose and Intent?”
Also in January, Chairwoman Waters opened an investigation of potential astroturfing efforts to influence the OCC and FDIC CRA rulemaking and demanded that the agencies explain their efforts to ensure the legitimacy of the proposed CRA rule.
In December of 2019, Chairwoman Waters, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, led a letter to Jerome H. Powell, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller of the Currency, and Jelena McWilliams, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, demanding that regulators provide the public, Members of Congress, and all interested parties with adequate time to thoroughly review and offer input on proposed changes to the framework of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
Also in December of 2019, Chairwoman Waters led a delegation of the Committee in attending a public meeting of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Board of Directors, which consists of FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger, and FDIC Board Member Martin Gruenberg.