This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed seven bipartisan House Financial Services Committee bills.
The House passed the following bills along with other measures en bloc by a vote of 350-75:
The Financial Inclusion in Banking Act (H.R. 1711), a bill by Representative David Scott (D-GA), which would direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Community Affairs to identify causes leading to, and solutions for, under-banked, un-banked, and underserved consumers. The Office of Community Affairs must submit a report to Congress every two years on these topics and coordinate with other Federal agencies to develop strategies to increase financial education to these consumers.
The COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act of 2021 (H.R. 3125), a bill by Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA), which would build on the Defense Production Act’s (DPA) purpose to ensure our nation has the materials necessary to respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies by allowing certain medical materials to qualify for purchase and increased production and allowing the federal government to prioritize state, local or tribal governments’ orders. Finally, it provides a framework for streamlined private sector engagement, directs the President to support the supply chain production of essential COVID-19 related materials, and requires reporting on purchases made and contracts entered into under DPA authorities.
The Homebuyer Assistance Act (H.R. 3008), a bill by Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), which would align the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) requirements governing appraisals with those set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to allow for both licensed and certified appraisers to conduct home valuations for FHA-insured mortgages. It would also set minimum educational requirements that appraisal professionals must undergo to be eligible to conduct FHA appraisals.
The Insider Trading Prohibition Act (H.R. 2655), a bill by Representative Jim Himes (D-CT), which would codify the definition of illegal insider trading under the securities laws, creating a clear, consistent standard for both courts and market participants to follow.
The COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act (H.R. 2959), a bill by Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA), which would establish a joint Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) working group dedicated to protecting consumers and investors against fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide access to legal aid and tools needed to combat fraud. This working group will provide a quarterly report to Congress, outlining the working groups activities, including making fraud prevention resources publicly available, their public enforcement actions, and complaints regarding fraud collected by the CFPB and SEC.
The Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 707), a bill by Representative Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), which authorizes the U.S. Mint to strike a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the men of the 23rd Headquarters, Special Troops, and the 3133rd Signal Company, known unofficially as the Ghost Army, for their bravery, creativity, and ingenuity in conducting deception operations against the German Army in World War II.
The SAVE Act (H.R. 3146), a bipartisan bill by Representative French Hill (R-AR), which would authorize the President to make payments to manufacturers to increase supply chain security if doing so is important to the national defense. The President must submit a strategy to Congress that includes, among other elements a plan to use authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to ensure the supply of medical articles essential to the national defense and plans to diversify, and address vulnerabilities in, supply chains for essential medical articles.