House GOP Beats Back Dems’ CFPB Defense in Dodd-Frank Bill

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By Rob Tricchinelli

House Financial Services Committee Republicans May 3 turned aside several Democratic attempts to preserve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s power, while considering a wide-ranging Dodd-Frank overhaul bill that would limit the bureau’s authority.

Committee Democrats further dragged out preliminary steps to advance the legislation, offering amendments later in the day that would require analysis of President Donald Trump’s tax returns and whether he stands to benefit from its passage.

Panel Republicans oppose the additions. Democrats also introduced potential changes to the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10) that would preserve the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule and skirt efforts to add congressional scrutiny of the Federal Reserve.

Debate over the amendments took up most of the day, and Democrats were expected to offer several more as the evening wore one. Voting on the amendments and the underlying legislation was scheduled for May 4, according to Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who introduced the legislation.

CFPB Changes, Leverage

The Republican bill would bring the CFPB under congressional appropriations. An amendment from Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) to strike that from the bill was defeated, 32-24, along party lines.

The bill would also negate the bureau’s authority to fight “unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices,” and an attempt by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to remove that from the bill was defeated in committee by the same margin.

Debate over other aspects of the bill broke along typical party lines, with a few exceptions.

Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) weighed in on the bill’s “choice” that if a bank keeps a 10 percent leverage ratio, it can get out from under additional regulations.

“I wish it were higher, personally,” he said. “But the legislative process is a compromise.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Tricchinelli in Washington at rtricchinelli@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at pdiamond@bna.com

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