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House begins markup of CUNA-backed reg relief bills
WASHINGTON (6/11/14)--The House Financial Services Committee has started markup on a number of bills supported by the Credit Union National Association, with two passed by the committee and several slated for a recorded vote later today.
The bills relate to the structure and reach of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Small Business Advisory Act (H.R. 4383)  passed by voice vote.  The bill would create a small business advisory board at the bureau, and features a manager's amendment to codify the credit union and community bank advisory councils, voluntarily created by the CFPB director,  so they become permanent features of the CFPB advisory board make up.
CUNA strongly supports the bill and submitted a comprehensive comment letter in March 2013 on the need for such a bill, and testified to that effect before Congress in June.
H.R. 4383 was introduced by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) April 3. CUNA worked with Pittenger's office on the legislative language, and submitted a comment letter to a subcommittee hearing in May, as well as a letter Monday supporting the bill, among others.
The Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (H.R. 4262) also passed Tuesday by a voice vote. The act clarifies that the Federal Advisory Committee Act does apply to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, meaning the CFPB now must open bureau advisory committee meetings to the public.
In a letter to the committee Monday, CUNA advocated for the act, saying the meetings should be open to the public "as they provide an important forum for credit union representatives to share concerns and provide practical guidance to the agency on operational and public policy issues."
Members of the committee called for a recorded vote for two bills, which will likely begin today at 10 a.m. today. They include:
  • The CFPB Inspector General Act (H.R. 3770), which would create an independent inspector general for the bureau. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has added an amendment that the Inspector General for the CFPB will not have to be confirmed by the Senate. That amendment will also be up for a recorded vote; and,
  • The Bureau Examination Fairness Act (H.R. 4804) which sets several restrictions on CFPB examinations, including a restriction that prevents the CFPB from including enforcement attorneys, place time limits on examination field work and prohibit concurrent examinations at the same institutions.

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