Federal

Fed seeks comment on proposed repeal of consumer rules

The Federal Reserve issued a request for public comment last week on changes to fair credit reporting standards and proposals to repeal two rules aimed at helping consumers compare deposit accounts and ensure the privacy of consumer data. Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, rulemaking authority related to a number of consumer financial protection... Read More...

CSBS: Fed banks “uniquely positioned” to facilitate payments system improvements

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors recently told the Federal Reserve in its request for comment that Fed banks are “uniquely positioned to coordinate improvements” to the U.S. payment system. The CSBS encouraged the Fed to examine if emerging non-bank payment providers pose a threat to the existing system and assess how emerging... Read More...

State banking groups urge Obama to nominate community banker to Fed

State banking associations and several other groups sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday urging the president to nominate a community banker to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The letter was signed by all 50 state banking organizations, as well as the Illinois League of Financial Institutions, Heartland Community Bankers... Read More...

House Financial Services Committee to hold hearing on impact of QM rule

The House Financial Services Committee announced recently that the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing on the consumer impact of Dodd-Frank’s Qualified Mortgage rule on Jan. 14. The subcommittee hearing will be held at 10 a.m. and will be chaired by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). The... Read More...

Senate votes 64-36 to approve 2014 budget

The Senate voted 64-36 on Wednesday to pass a bipartisan budget deal crafted by Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The 2014 budget will replace sequestration cuts that took effect earlier this year with $1.85 trillion in new deficit reduction measures. The budget will also address deficits in infrastructure, education, job... Read More...

Treasury report calls for increased federal involvement in insurance regulation

In a Thursday report to Congress, the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office called for further federal intervention in regulation of the insurance sector. Insurance premiums for life and health and property and casualty sectors totaled over $1.1 trillion last year—approximately seven percent of GDP—and insurers in the U.S. employ 2.3... Read More...

Senate votes to confirm Mel Watt to head FHFA

The Senate voted 57-41 on Tuesday to confirm Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, where he will oversee government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt, who was nominated by President Obama in March, had the support of both senators from North Carolina—Kay Hagan (D) and Richard Burr (R),... Read More...

House, Senate Budget Committees reach bipartisan budget deal

Lawmakers reached a bipartisan budget deal on Tuesday—ahead of the Dec. 13 deadline—that would avoid another government shutdown. The deal, reached between Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), sets overall discretionary spending for 2013 at $1.012 trillion, halfway... Read More...

Watt confirmation to lead FHFA to come to Senate vote

Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) is expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, after Senate Democrats led an effort to eliminate the use of the filibuster to block presidential nominees. Senate Republicans blocked Watt’s nomination in October, saying he lacked the necessary... Read More...

House passes bill to curb patent troll litigation

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 325-91 to approve legislation aimed at patent trolls—firms that buy or license patents and attempt to extract licensing fees or file infringement lawsuits that have cost the economy billions of dollars. Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the legislation targets patent trolls for behavior... Read More...

Federal agencies report $3.8 billion in real property savings under memorandum

The Government Accountability Office released a report on Monday that found that federal agencies reported $3.8 billion in real property cost savings in response to a presidential memorandum issued in 2010. In June 2010, President Obama directed federal agencies to reach $3 billion in real property cost savings by the end of 2012 using a number... Read More...

House passes legislation to strengthen oversight, accountability at CFPB

The House Financial Services Committee passed six bills on Thursday aimed at enhancing oversight, accountability and transparency at the CFPB. The Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Act—or H.R. 2446—would replace the CFPB director with a bipartisan, five-member commission appointed by the president, aligning the CFPB’s leadership... Read More...

Treasury nominee Raskin testifies before Senate Finance Committee

Sarah Bloom Raskin, the nominee for Treasury deputy secretary, testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday that she would work with lawmakers to enact long-term reforms to the housing finance system and financial system. “This is an exciting time to join the Treasury Department,” Raskin said. “With the need for... Read More...

Yellen testifies at confirmation hearing before Senate Banking Committee

Federal Reserve nominee Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday that support of the central bank’s current monetary policy “is the surest path to returning to a more normal” monetary policy. Yellen, who was nominated by President Obama to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, said she helped lead the effort... Read More...

Sen. Sherrod Brown expresses support for Yellen as head of Federal Reserve

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, expressed support on Tuesday for Janet Yellen, who was nominated to take over as head of the Federal Reserve. “Governor Yellen is the steady-handed, consensus builder we need at the helm of the Federal... Read More...

Witnesses testify before Senate Banking Committee on housing finance reform

The Senate Banking Committee heard testimony from six witnesses on Tuesday during its hearing on housing finance reform. Eric Stein, the senior vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, said lawmakers could pursue one of two policy options: examine ways to structure a reformed finance system and the impact of the structures and a... Read More...

House passes bill to scale back Dodd-Frank swaps “push out” provision

The House of Representatives voted 292-122 last week to pass the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, which is designed to provide banks more flexibility to use swaps to hedge risk. Section 716 of Dodd-Frank requires banks to “push out” all of their derivatives operations into a non-bank entity, though banks are still able to hedge risk... Read More...

House subcommittee discusses proposals to enhance accountability at CFPB

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit met last week to discuss proposals designed to enhance accountability and oversight at the CFPB. “We are here this afternoon to gain insight on proposals to reform the CFPB so that it is better suited to provide a stable regulatory environment for consumer... Read More...

House subcommittee examines proposals to reduce barriers to capital formation

The House Subcommittee on Capital Markets held a hearing on Wednesday to consider several legislative proposals designed to reduce barriers to capital formation. One proposal includes a measure to direct the SEC to exempt non-accelerate filers with revenues of less than $1 billion from the XBRL filing requirement, Compliance Week... Read More...

Citizens Bank, Charter One offer assistance to federal employees during shutdown

Citizens Bank and Charter One announced last week a program designed to help furloughed federal workers affected by the government shutdown from Monday through Nov. 4, or whenever the shutdown ends—whichever is sooner. The bank encouraged eligible customers to contact a bank representative or visit a branch location to request rebates on... Read More...

Chase to provide assistance to furloughed federal employees

Chase announced on Friday that it would provide assistance to furloughed federal employees affected by the government shutdown through Oct. 31 or until the shutdown ends, whichever is sooner. The bank encouraged customers who are employed by a federal agency and whose income has been affected by the shutdown to contact the company to discuss... Read More...

Senate Banking Committee hears testimony on consequences of government default

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on Thursday to examine the consequences of default on financial stability and economic growth, during which the committee heard testimony from industry groups. Representatives from a number of organizations, including the American Bankers Association, Securities Industry... Read More...

President Obama nominates Janet Yellen to head Federal Reserve

President Obama nominated Janet Yellen on Wednesday to succeed Ben Bernanke as the head of the Federal Reserve just days before Congress must address the looming debt ceiling deadline. Yellen, who is currently the Fed vice chairman, will take over as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Pending Senate confirmation, Yellen will be the first... Read More...

House approves back pay measure for federal workers

The House of Representatives voted 407-0 on Saturday to approve legislation to ensure that federal workers receive back pay after the conclusion of the government shutdown. "Federal workers keep the Nation safe and secure and provide vital services that support the economic security of American families," the Obama administration said in a... Read More...

Senate holds hearing on reauthorization of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing last week on reauthorizing the 2002 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act — set to expire in 2014 — to protect commercial entities against terrorism-related losses exceeding $100 million. Under the TRIA program, passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that led... Read More...

Judge grants stay for Federal Reserve interchange rule

District court Judge Richard Leon issued an order last week granting the Federal Reserve’s request to keep its debit interchange rule in effect until the appellate process is completed. Leon, who previously said he was not included to grant the central bank’s request, and the court faced pressure from the Fed and plaintiffs in the case who... Read More...

House releases principles related to online sales tax

A House committee recently released a set of principles addressing the collection of online sales tax, a hot topic among retailers and distributors, in a move that drew the praise of industry groups. The National Retail Federation welcomed the House Judiciary Committee’s release of principles related to tax relief, tech neutrality, no... Read More...

House votes to prevent Obamacare subsidies without adequate eligibility check

The House of Representatives voted 235-191 last week to pass the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, which would prevent Obamacare subsidies from being distributed until a complete eligibility verification system is implemented. Under the current rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, federal health insurance exchanges... Read More...

Hensarling criticizes CFPB as “most powerful, least accountable” federal agency in U.S. history

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) criticized the CFPB as Director Richard Cordray appeared to give the agency’s semi-annual report before Congress last week, saying the agency is “the single most powerful and least accountable” federal agency in U.S. history. Hensarling also said the agency was... Read More...

House subcommittee examines 100 years of Federal Reserve monetary policy

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade kicked off a series of oversight hearings on Wednesday to examine the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, in honor of the central bank’s 100th anniversary. “Such an anniversary does not necessitate legislative reform of the institution, but it does provide an... Read More...

House subcommittee reviews HUD’s efforts to reduce fraud, waste, abuse

The House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee questioned Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General David A. Montoya about the agency’s efforts to reduce fraud, waste and abuse. The subcommittee reviewed the agency’s most recent report, which identified more than $770 million in questionable costs... Read More...

Same-sex marriages to be recognized for all federal tax purposes

The U.S. Treasury and IRS announced last week that all same-sex couples legally married in areas that recognize their marriages will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the couple lives in an area that does not recognize same-sex marriages. The announcement implements a June Supreme Court ruling and invalidates... Read More...

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