Letters to Congress from the Americans for Financial Reform and The Chamber of Commerce show opposing views of riders in the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill (H.R. 5485) pertaining to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Financial Stability Oversight Council, and Office of Financial Research. The AFR’s letter seeks removal of the riders and amendments that it says would "undermine financial reform," while the Chamber’s letter urges support for provisions that it says would "ensure accountability." The White House, on June 21, 2016, released a policy statement opposing Congressional passage of the current appropriations bill (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, June 22, 2016).
Opposition. The AFR’s letter states that H.R. 5485 is "loaded with ideological policy riders, and numerous additional such riders aimed at weakening Wall Street oversight and consumer protection have been offered as amendments." In particular, it opposes provisions that would:
- block all major financial reform regulations until the end of President Obama’s term;
- eliminate the ability of the FSOC to designate large non-bank financial entities that pose a risk to the financial system for increased oversight;
- rescind the CFPB’s auto lending guidance;
- "hamper" the CFPB’s efforts to inform consumers about critical consumer protection tools;
- "weaken" Qualified Mortgage protections for owners of manufactured homes;
- make the CFPB the only federal banking regulator without independent funding;
- change the structure of the CFPB from its current single-director structure to a five-member commission;
- stall CFPB protections against payday loans for at least a year; and
- stall new CFPB "protections against" forced arbitration clauses
Support. The Chamber’s letter supports:
- suspending the CFPB rulemaking on consumer arbitration agreements until it "properly considers" the demonstrable benefits of consumer arbitration;
- bringing both the CFPB and OFR under the normal appropriations process to ensure accountability;
- reporting to Congress by financial regulators on their interactions and negotiations with international bodies such as the G20, Financial Stability Board, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions; and
- requiring Treasury’s Office of Financial Stability to provide a report to Congress on the economic and liquidity impacts of the Basel III capital standards, Volcker Rule, Foreign Bank Operations Rule, and Money Market Fund rules.
Companies: Americans for Financial Reform; Chamber of Commerce
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