Legislative Activity

House Lawmakers to Mark-Up, Vote Various Financial Services Bills

This week, on Wednesday, April 13, the House Financial Services Committee is set to mark-up various bills that would significantly alter the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), including legislation that would repeal the government’s orderly liquidation authority, as well as place the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the Congressional appropriations process. The following day, on Thursday, April 14, the full House is expected to take up and vote on two financial services bills: (1) H.R. 3791, which would require the Federal Reserve Board to revise the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement on the Assessment of Financial and Managerial Factors to raise its consolidated asset threshold from $1 billion to $5 billion; and (2) H.R. 3340, which would place both the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Office of Financial Research (OFR) under the Congressional appropriations process.

Natural Resources Committee to Move Forward with Puerto Rico Fix

On Wednesday, April 13, the House Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold a hearing on a discussion draft of the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act,” followed by a markup of the bill on Thursday, April 14. Among other features, the discussion draft would create an Oversight Board that would “have the tools to comprehensively resolve Puerto Rico’s debt crisis,” including the mandate to “work with the Governor and the Legislative Assembly in the preparation of fiscal plans and budgets,” with the ultimate authority “to enact such a fiscal plan and budget if the Governor and Legislative Assembly fail to do so.” While there is generally broad consensus that lawmakers must take swift action to address the Commonwealth’s imminent fiscal crisis, there are still differences that must be resolved, as Democratic Committee members would like to see more provisions included addressing issues like Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), while certain Republicans are concerned about the breadth of the restructuring provisions. Given that Puerto Rico has another bond payment due on May 1 – one that it is expected to be unable to make – lawmakers will need to come together quickly if they have any hope of finalizing a solution before month’s end.

Senate Banking Committee Delays Vote on Nominees

Last week, following bipartisan opposition during a planned nomination vote, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) postponed votes on several pending Obama Administration nominees. As of today, a vote on the nominees – which includes two Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioners, as well as officials to the Treasury Department, the United States Mint, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Office of the Inspector General – has yet to be rescheduled.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, April 12: The Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will hold a hearing titled “Hearing to Review the FY17 Budget Request for the SEC & CFTC.”
  • Wednesday, April 13: The House Financial Services Committee will mark-up the following legislation:
  • Wednesday, April 13: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.”
  • Thursday, April 14: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing titled “JOBS Act at Four: Examining Its Impact and Proposals to Further Enhance Capital Formation.”
  • Thursday, April 14: The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment and Subcommittee on Economic Policy will hold a joint hearing titled “Examining Current Trends and Changes in the Fixed-Income Markets.”
  • Thursday, April 14: The House Natural Resources Committee will mark-up the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.”

Regulatory Activity

SEC to Hold Open Meeting, Meeting of Investor Advisory Committee

On Wednesday, April 13, the SEC will hold a meeting discuss: (1) modernizing certain business and financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K; and (2) business conduct standards for security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants.

Additionally, on Thursday, April 14, the SEC will hold a meeting of its Investor Advisory Committee to: (1) discuss a recommendation of the Investor as Purchaser subcommittee regarding mutual fund cost disclosure; (2) receive an update from the Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations; (3) receive subcommittee reports; (4) discuss cybersecurity and related investor protection concerns; and (5) receive reflections from the first full term of Investor Advisory Committee membership.