House May Push Small Reg Changes to Gain Senate Passage
The House may consider legislation to enact small changes to the financial services regulatory regime in an effort to convince the Senate to act, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) said Tuesday.
Speaking at the NAFCU Congressional Caucus in Washington, D.C., Luetkemeyer, chairman of the House Financial Institutions Subcommittee, said he would prefer a larger regulatory overhaul od Dodd-Frank.
“We’d like to repeal it, but I don’t know if we can get that done.” Luetkemeyer.
He said that the House may have to pass smaller changes to make them more politically palatable to the Senate. The goal, he said, is to provide the Senate Banking Committee “a buffet of bills to choose from.”
The House has passed a large regulatory overhaul bill, House Financial Service Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) Financial CHOICE Act.
Hensarling said he is waiting impatiently for the Senate to act.
Senators have made it clear that they will not consider Hensarling’s bill. Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Id.) and his ranking Democrat, Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have said they are working on a bipartisan measure to make changes to Dodd-Frank.
Bipartisanship is likely to be needed because any changes to Dodd-Frank may take 60 votes in the Senate to avoid a threatened filibuster.
During the markup of CHOICE Act, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said that he believed that if the House considered several smaller bills, they could pass on a bipartisan basis.
Luetkemeyer also said that he expects the House to hold hearings on the Equifax data breach. He said, however, that regulators are likely to be in a better position than Congress to respond to data breaches.
And to some applause, he said that merchants should be held responsible for data breaches. “You’re right,” he said. “They got a get-out-of-jail free card.”
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), said she agrees that the Senate might be able to move smaller legislation, rather than a huge overhaul of the Dodd-Frank.
“There’s a hunger to move things forward,” she said.
She cited legislation she and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) have introduced that would allow more community financial institutions to be exempt from Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting requirements.
She said, however, that some legislators might try to add controversial amendments to such legislation. For instance, she said she favors repeal of the so-called Durbin Amendment on credit card fees.
However, adding the repeal of the Durbin Amendment to incremental legislation would be a poison pill.
“Let’s keep our eye on the prize and debate it later,” she said.
In his NAFCU speech, Rounds expressed frustration that Dodd-Frank changes could take 60 votes in the Senate for passage.
As part of regulatory changes, senators are continuing to struggle with how to enact legislation that would make changes to the CFPB, said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.). She said that some senators continue to push for creation of a commission to oversee the CFPB. She added, however, that others simply want to wait for current Director Richard Cordray to leave office. Then, they believe that President Trump likely would nominate a more business-friendly director.
Looking ahead, Hensarling said he expects to introduce legislation to overhaul the federal housing regulatory regime by the end of the year. That legislation, Hensarling said, will clearly define the role of the federal government in housing policy in housing policy.