Spending Bill With Dodd-Frank Curbs Advances in House

By Rob Tricchinelli

A spending bill that would repeal Volcker Rule limits on proprietary trading and restrict the CFPB’s authority was approved by a House Appropriations subcommittee June 29 in a party-line vote.

The bill funding the SEC and other financial regulators incorporates dozens of policy riders from the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10), House Republicans’ signature Dodd-Frank Act overhaul effort, which passed the chamber earlier in June.

“This bill takes a significant amount of power away from government,” Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee, said at the markup.

Those policy riders drew the ire of committee Democrats as the bill advances to consideration by the full Appropriations Committee. Further action hasn’t been scheduled.

“This bill embodies the worst of the damage the Republican agenda would inflict on American families and the worst of a broken and secretive process,” Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said during the markup.

Policy Provisions

The spending bill includes Choice Act restrictions on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s supervisory authority and its power to regulate payday and vehicle-title lending.

It also uses Choice Act language on mortgage finance, proxy balloting, and capital formation.

The specific policy language included in the bill was requested by other Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration, Graves told reporters. “The items that have been included have the consent of the Financial Services Committee and our committee, and we’re working together hand in hand,” he said.

Agency Funding

The Securities and Exchange Commission would see an essentially flat funding level for fiscal 2018 over the previous two years, at $1.602 billion, plus another $50 million for information technology improvements. The bill would preserve a provision in current law that bars the SEC from writing a rule requiring public companies to disclose political contributions.

The CFPB, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and parts of the Federal Reserve not dealing with monetary policy would also be brought within the appropriations process, under the bill.

Senate appropriators haven’t released their own version of the bill. In recent years, however, Congress has relied on continuing resolutions and omnibus spending packages to fund the government.

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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