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Patent Reform, CFPB Bills See Committee Action
WASHINGTON (11/21/13)--Two topics of interest to credit unions were tackled in Wednesday U.S. House markup sessions: Legislation that would crack down on "patent trolls," and another that would alter the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The patent bill, called "The Innovation Act of 2013" (H.R. 3309), was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee 33-5. Several amendments had been offered during the markup process and debate on those amendments continued late into the day.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) late last month. It would crack down on the so-called "trolls" who abuse the patent system by using low-quality patents to try to extract settlements from credit unions and other parties.  The Credit Union National Association supports the bill.

Debate by the House Financial Services Committee on six bills that would alter aspects of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also lasted into the evening, as committee members recessed for votes on the House floor late Wednesday afternoon. A vote on those bills is scheduled to be held this morning.
Bills addressed during the markup session and supported by CUNA include:
  • The Responsible consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act (H.R. 2446), which would replace CFPB Director Richard Cordray with a five-member commission;
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act (H.R. 3193), which would authorize the Financial Stability Oversight Council to stay or set aside any CFPB regulation that is found to be inconsistent with safe and sound operations of financial institutions. The bill would also require the CFPB to take into consideration the impact of its rules on insured depository institutions;
  • The Consumer Right to Financial Privacy Act (H.R. 2571), which would prohibit the CFPB from requesting, accessing, collecting, using, retaining or disclosing nonpublic personal information about a consumer unless proper disclosures are provided to the consumer;
  • H.R. 3183, which would require the CFPB to provide at a consumer's request one free annual report disclosing all of the information about the consumer held by the CFPB; and
  • The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Accountability and Transparency Act (H.R. 3519), which would subject CFPB funding to congressional appropriations.The CFPB Pay Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 2385) was also on the markup agenda.
Watch News Now for updates on the progress of both sessions.

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