Washington, D.C. – Following enactment of financial oversight provisions substantially similar to legislation he previously authored, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) introduced his first priority financial services legislation for the 117th Congress that promotes additional transparency and oversight of financial regulators.
The CFPB Dual Mandate and Economic Analysis Act establishes a focus on competition and consumer choice at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), while continuing to focus on fairness and transparency. In addition, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) Reform Act enhances congressional oversight of FSOC, an often unchecked organization that has the power to enforce new regulations on financial institutions.
Provisions from Congressman Emmer's Bank Secrecy Reporting Review Act were previously included in the National Defense Authorization Act that was recently enacted into law. The effort behind the Bank Secrecy Reporting Review Act was to ensure financial institutions and law enforcement have the proper data to provide the best possible information to prosecute suspected criminal offenders.
"Our government must work for Americans, supporting consumers and our economy. The initiatives I have introduced today will be central to my focus on the Financial Services Committee," said Emmer. "We must promote more competition, consumer choice, and transparency in our financial services agencies."
"The financial services industry is incredibly important to Minnesota, and while regulators certainly have their place, Congress must ensure that the appropriate checks and balances are in place to oversee the power of regulators in order to protect consumers and the rights of Americans. Prosperity and consumer choice should be our primary focus as we rebuild our economy. Through these efforts, we can also assist law enforcement and financial services providers, secure easier access to financial services, and keep our government accountable," Emmer concluded.
CFPB Dual Mandate and Economic Analysis Act
The CFPB Dual Mandate and Economic Analysis Act amends the mission of the CFPB to focus on competition and consumer choice. The legislation would also establish an Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) at the CFPB to review and assess proposed guidance, orders, rules and regulations to analyze how the actions would affect consumer choice, price, and access to financial products. This enhancement ensures that consumers will have access to a diverse array of financial services providers and products that are more responsive to the individual needs of all Americans.
When the CFPB was created as a result of the passage of the controversial Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it was given the power to regulate many more industries, including auto lenders, credit unions, and community banks. At times in its short history, the CFPB has placed burden after burden on the financial services industry, which has hurt the very people they are obligated to protect – American consumers.
This bill is endorsed by the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Read the bill here.
Financial Stability Oversight Council Reform Act
The Financial Stability Oversight Council Reform Act would enhance congressional oversight of FSOC, which was also created in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act. FSOC has the power to designate financial institutions as “systemically important” which results in greater regulatory burdens. The legislation would give Congress the power to approve the budget for FSOC and the Office of Financial Research (OFR), create quarterly reporting requirements for OFR, and require OFR to provide at least a 90 day public notice and comment period before issuing any report, rule, or regulation. This increased oversight and transparency would ensure safe and competitive financial markets to help Americans purchase homes, cars, and have access to higher education.
“Transparency and accountability are vital to ensuring that federal regulation is fair and reasonable for small businesses. As Main Street businesses and local entrepreneurs work hard to recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19, access to capital has become more critical, which is why advancing the Financial Stability Oversight Council Reform Act must be a priority. This common-sense legislation would provide needed transparency and a voice for entrepreneurs to ensure FSOC actions do not unfairly impede small business recovery and growth,” said Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
This bill is endorsed by SIFMA and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
Read the bill here.