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Washington
House vote on CFPB, NFIP reform bills set for this week
WASHINGTON (2/26/14)--Separate bills that would reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Flood Insurance Plan, respectively, are scheduled to see votes in the full U.S. House this week.

The Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act (H.R. 3193), would authorize the Financial Stability Oversight Council to stay or set aside any CFPB regulation that is found to be inconsistent with safe and sound operations of financial institutions.

The bill would also require the CFPB to take into consideration the impact of its rules on insured depository institutions, change the bureau's leadership structure and make some operational changes.

The Credit Union National Association called the bill a step in the right direction in a letter sent to Congress last week. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said the bill would help to assure credit unions--and other entities--already subject to considerable regulation are not unnecessarily burdened.

A similar bill was passed on a bipartisan House vote in 2011, but it was not approved by the Senate.

The NFIP bill would delay planned National Flood Insurance Plan rate increases for up to four years, and would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete an insurance affordability study and propose a framework that addresses affordability issues. The bill would also:
  • Eliminate the 50% cap on state and local contributions to levee construction and reconstruction;
  • Protect the so-called "basement exception," which allows the lowest flood-proofed opening in a home to be used for determining flood insurance rates;
  • Establish a Flood Insurance Rate Map Advocate within FEMA to answer current and prospective policyholder questions about the flood mapping process; and
  • Require FEMA to certify that the agency has fully adopted a modernized risk-based approach to analyzing flood risk.


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