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CFPB tax hearings on tap as Congress returns
WASHINGTON (5/3/11)--As Congress restarts after its two-week district work period, credit unions will want to watch a Wednesday House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing for clues on potential changes to the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The subcommittee will mark up H.R. 1121, the Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Act; H.R. 1315, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act; and other legislation related to the date for transfer of functions to the CFPB if the bureau does not have a director in place. The CFPB is scheduled to take over a host of financial regulatory activities on July 21. H.R. 1121 would replace the proposed single CFPB director position with a five-person panel. H.R. 1315 would replace the proposed two-thirds voting approval threshold with a simple majority threshold. Doing so would strengthen the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) review authority over regulations that are issued by the CFPB. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has said that credit unions should be adequately represented if the single director position is expanded to a five-person panel. CUNA also suggested that the FSOC could set aside CFPB rules if it determines that a new rule would be unreasonably burdensome for financial institutions and the burden to financial institutions outweighs the benefit to consumers. CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said that while the CFPB-related bills will likely pass out of the subcommittee, and could be marked up in full committee, their final fate is not certain. “We have seen very little appetite in the Senate to consider these types of changes to Dodd-Frank Act,” he added. A Senate Finance Committee hearing, entitled “Is the Distribution of Tax Burdens and Tax Benefit Equitable?,” is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET, and the Senate Banking Committee will hold confirmation hearings for several Treasury department nominees at that same time. The House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets and government sponsored enterprises will also mark up legislation related to capital formation, data collection, covered bonds, access to capital, and market stabilization, among other topics, at 10 a.m. ET.

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