WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner promised that the House will work hard to ease the regulatory burden so credit unions can lend more money and businesses can create new jobs.
The financial overhaul bill that was passed last year "will punish everyone who had nothing to do with the Wall Street crash," Boehner (R-Ohio) said.
He added that the regulations triggered by the law would hurt credit unions' ability to provide credit. But he didn't outline specific proposals to alter the bill and didn't talk about debit interchange.
Boehner also expressed concern about the spiraling national debt and criticized President Obama for not proposing enough cuts.
He said Obama "sunk from the challenge like an ice cream cone on a Phoenix street in July."
On interchange, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus urged attendees to lobby lawmakers, especially in the Senate, to delay the implementation of the proposed rule on debit interchange fees by the Federal Reserve. Although one of his panel's subcommittees has held two hearings on the subject, Bachus didn't commit to taking action on the issue.
"People want to know the person who is making them a loan," Bachus (R-Ala.) said. "If we don’t get it [debit interchange] right, that credit union or community bank in your town isn’t going to be there."
He didn’t say what the House might do to try to slow down the Federal Reserve’s issuing of a new rule that would limit debit interchange fees. The Fed has issued a proposed rule, as required by the financial overhaul bill that Congress passed last year.
According to the proposed rule, the allowable costs for interchange would be limited to no more than the issuer's allowable costs divided by the number of electronic debit transactions on which the issuer received or charged an interchange transaction fee a year. Or the issuer could receive a fee capped at 12 cents per transaction.
Bachus also criticized President Obama for not having nominated a director of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and said it is unfair that the agency has already hired many key personnel and begun planning for its launch this summer without having a permanent director. Obama has named Elizabeth Warren to help set up the agency but he hasn’t nominated her or anyone else as the head.
Bachus also said Congress would address the problems in the housing finance system and reiterated his belief that there should be a shift in the backing of mortgages from the government to the private sector.
Congress’ two major backers of raising the cap on member business loans said they would renew their efforts to pass the measure this year.
Saying that it is a "no-brainer," Sen. Mark Udall said today he would work hard to achieve even more bipartisan support for the bill, of which he is the lead sponsor.
Udall (D-Colo.) called the measure a "sure-fire way to grow the economy."
He didn’t discuss the measure's prospects but encouraged attendees to urge their senator to sign on to the bill.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the lead sponsor in that chamber, said it is a way to create jobs without involving government He also didn’t discuss the likelihood of passage.
The measure would raise the current cap from 12.25% of assets to up to 27.5%.