Removing Barriers Blog

House Appropriations Committee Passes FSGG Bill with Several Regulatory Relief Provisions
Posted June 09, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Appropriations Committee passed its financial services and general government (FSGG) bill by a 30-17 vote Thursday. This government funding bill also contains many regulatory relief provisions that we have supported, including CFPB reform.  

We wrote a letter to the committee prior to the markup to support the bill’s regulatory relief language.

Credit union friendly items in the bill include: 

  • Changing the leadership structure of the CFPB to a five-person board and placing the bureau under the appropriations process; 

  • Requiring the CFPB to study the use of arbitration prior to issuing any new regulations. This would affect the bureau’s recent proposal on arbitration;  

  • Allowing for residential mortgages held in portfolio by lenders to be recognized as qualified mortgages for the purposes of the CFPB's mortgage lending rules. These efforts would especially help community bankers and credit unions who have decreased their mortgage lending business in recent years due to onerous regulatory requirements; 

  • Supporting efforts to clarify the definition of ‘‘points and fees’’ for qualified mortgages in order to improve access to credit for low and moderate income borrowers; and

  • Stopping the CFPB from proceeding with its short-term, small-dollar loan proposal. 

The committee report also contains a number of other items of interest to credit unions, including CUNA-supported language that would call for the Federal Communications Commission to revisit its Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) order, and address technical questions that may be impossible for financial institutions to resolve.  

This includes clearing up whether an exemption for financial institutions to contact consumers with additional information can actually be used, and urging the FCC to provide more flexibility to the requirements.  

We raised these points in a November letter sent to The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology in November.  

Other highlights of the committee report include: 

  • Directing the CFPB to report to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee on how it has used its section 1022 exemption authority to tailor its rulemakings to community financial institutions within 120 days of the bill’s enactment; 

  • Directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to determine the impacts of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act on U.S. citizens living abroad. The GAO must also make recommendations on FATCA implementations, and both must be done within 180 days of enactment of the bill; 

  • Directing the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy to report to several Congressional committees on ways to improve cybersecurity and an update on collaboration across the financial services sector within 60 days of the bill’s enactment.