On April 26, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) introduced the Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act of 2017 (CLEARR Act) (H.R. 2133) designed to provide community financial institutions with regulatory relief from certain burdensome federal requirements. Among other things, the CLEARR Act would limit the authority of the CFPB by raising the asset size threshold for CFPB supervision from $10 billion to $50 billion and amend Section 1031 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by removing the term “abusive” from the CFPB’s “unfair, deceptive, or abusive” acts or practices authority. The CLEARR Act would also provide relief in the mortgage lending area by exempting community banks from certain escrow requirements and amend the Truth in Lending Act by adding a safe harbor for qualified mortgage loans held in portfolio. Moreover, the CLEARR Act would repeal all regulations issued to implement the Basel III and NCUA capital requirements. It would also repeal the Dodd-Frank Act provision amending the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require collection of small business and minority-owned business loan data, as well as prohibit federal banking agencies from requiring depository institutions to terminate a specific account or group of accounts unless the agency has a material reason not based solely on reputational risk.
Rep. Luetkemeyer—who is a senior member on the House Financial Services Committee and the Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee—also issued a statement after President Trump called for the Treasury Secretary to conduct reviews of the Orderly Liquidation Authority and Financial Stability Oversight Council: “As a former bank examiner, community banker, and Chairman of the Financial Institutions Subcommittee, I have long advocated for eliminating the OLA, because it puts taxpayers on the hook for bailouts, instead of putting private companies on the hook for bankruptcy. For years, I have also introduced legislation to change FSOC’s arbitrary designation processes, which lead to higher costs, fewer services, and less available credit for American consumers. The American people deserve financial independence and I look forward to working with President Trump and my colleagues to help them achieve it.”