Legislative Activity

Lawmakers Consider Dept. of Labor Proposed Fiduciary Rule

Last week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held its first hearing on the Department of Labor’s recently released Fiduciary Rule, which seeks to establish a new legal standard for brokers and require them to offer investors retirement advice that is in the investors’ best interest. Republicans continue to argue that the Department of Labor’s proposed rule is costly and unnecessary. As such, House appropriators last week marked up the FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill, which contains a provision that would prevent the Department of Labor from implementing the rule. Appropriators voted along party lines in favor of the bill and against an amendment introduced by Democrats, which would have jettisoned the provision blocking the Fiduciary Rule.

House Appropriators Vote to Keep CFTC’s Budget at Level Funding

On June 18, the House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Subcommittee marked up and approved its FY 2016 spending bill, which would keep the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) budget at $250 million – the same level as FY 2015 and nearly one-third less than the Obama Administration requested.  Additionally, the legislation proposes to repeal the indemnification provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection (Dodd-Frank) Act, which are seen by many as inhibiting regulators from sharing derivatives data with other countries.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, June 23: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Oversight Review of the National Flood Insurance Program.”
  • Wednesday, June 24: The House Financial Services Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing will hold a hearing titled “Evaluating the Security of the U.S. Financial Sector.”
  • Wednesday, June 24: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Assessing and Improving Flood Insurance Management and Accountability in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy.”
  • Thursday, June 25: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Examining Continuing Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Regulatory Activity

CFPB May Delay Mortgage Disclosure Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced that, despite an upcoming August 1 compliance date for certain loan disclosure rules, mortgage lenders may be provided an additional two months to comply. Recognizing an “administrative error…in meeting the requirements under federal law,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated that the CFPB is seeking outside input and will decide shortly whether to delay the effective date to October 1.

Separately, both the CFPB and the Federal Reserve last week released their Semiannual Regulatory Agendas.