Six CUNA backed bills pass House Financial Services Committee
(June 11, 2014) — The House Financial Services Committee held a markup on several bills relating to the structure and reach of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is a strong supporter of several of these bills, including the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Small Business Advisory Act (H.R. 4383), introduced by Representative Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), which would create a small business advisory board at the Bureau. The bill passed by voice vote out of Committee.
“CUNA asked the committee during a recent hearing to consider codifying the Credit Union Advisory Council, which was created by Director Cordray even though the Bureau is not required to have one under law,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs. “CUNA is a strong supporter of Rep. Pittenger’s bill and has worked for its passage since the legislation was introduced. We look forward to seeing this bill and several others come to a vote on the House floor.”
CUNA first expressed interest in the advisory board in a March 2013 letter, and the letter served as the basis for committee testimony in June 2013. CUNA then released a comprehensive regulatory relief proposal in October 2013, including the need for such a bill. After Rep. Pittenger introduced H.R. 4383 in April 2014, the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing including this legislation, with CUNA submitting a comment letter to the subcommittee prior to the hearing in support of the bill. In advance of today’s full committee markup, CUNA sent another letter of support for H.R. 4383 and several other bills being considered by the committee.
The following CUNA-backed bills passed in committee:
- The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Small Business Advisory Act (H.R. 4383), which would create a small business advisory board and codifies the credit union and community bank advisory councils. H.R. 4383 was introduced by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) and passed by voice vote.
- The Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (H.R. 4262), which would clarify that the Federal Advisory Committee Act applies to the CFPB and would, in effect, open bureau advisory committee meetings to the public. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) introduced this bill and it passed by voice vote.
- The Bureau Advisory Opinion Act (H.R. 4662), to direct the CFPB to create a process by which entities subject to bureau rulemaking, including credit unions, can submit questions to the bureau about the conformance of prospective products and services and receive, within 90 days, a confidential opinion from the director of the CFPB on the conformance of the product with consumer financial law. This bill was introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and passed 32-27.
- The CFPB Inspector General Act (H.R. 3770), which would create an independent inspector general for the bureau. Currently, the inspector general of the Federal Reserve serves as the inspector general for the CFPB. The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and passed 39-20.
- The Bureau Guidance Transparency Act (H.R. 4811), which would require the CFPB to provide a public notice and comment period before issuing any guidance in final form. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) introduced this bill it passed 35-24.
- The Bureau Examination Fairness Act (H.R. 4804) would improve the examinations process for credit unions examined by the CFPB. It would prohibit the bureau from including enforcement attorneys in examinations, regulate bureau data requests during the course of the examination, place time limitations on the completion of examination field work and the issuance of exam reports and supervisory letters and prohibit concurrent limited-scope exams at the same institutions. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) introduced this bill and it passed 33-26.