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House Committee Passes 14 Bills, Including Regulatory Relief and Fed Reform

SenateThe House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday approved 14 bipartisan bills aimed at growing the economy, creating jobs, providing regulatory relief for community financial institutions, and bringing more transparency to the Federal Reserve.

Among the bills that passed in the Committee were H.R. 2243, the Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015, which was introduced in May by Ed Royce (R-California). This bill seeks to reinstate the salary caps for the CEOs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were recently eliminated by Mel Watt, Director of the GSEs' conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The bill passed by a 57-1 vote.

H.R. 1210, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, codifies the common sense understanding that financial institutions who hold mortgages have a vested interest in insuring that customers repay their mortgage loans. The bill, sponsored by Andy Barr (R-Kentucky), passed by a 38-18 vote in the Committee.

The vote for H.R. 3189, the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act of 2015, which would bring greater accountability and transparency to the Federal Reserve, was much closer than others. That bill, sponsored by Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan), passed in the Committee by a 33-25 vote.

“We seek to simplify the rules, reduce complexity and compliance costs, Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said. "Complicated and costly regulations serve as barriers that too often keep small competitors off the playing field.  With regulatory relief, we can level that playing field between big corporations and small businesses and create a healthier economy. We can also help create a healthier economy by bringing greater accountability and transparency to the Federal Reserve."

H.R. 1553, known as the Small Bank Exam Cycle Reform Act of 2015, allows well-managed institutions to qualify for modified exam cycles, thus providing them with regulatory relief from Dodd-Frank's "regulatory red tape regime." This bill passed unanimously in the Committee by the vote of 58-0.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, praised the passage of the new bills in the Committee.

“After five long years of Dodd-Frank’s misguided regulatory assault on Main Street, I’m pleased the Financial Services Committee once again acted to provide regulatory relief for our community financial institutions and the hardworking Americans they serve," Neugebauer said. "Washington’s one-size-fits-all rulemaking has shifted Dodd-Frank’s compliance costs down to many individuals and families—forcing them to absorb higher cost of credit while reducing their access to popular financial products. This ‘new normal’ is unacceptable. As Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, I will continue to work in a bipartisan manner and advocate for well-tailored consumer protection that does not infringe upon consumer choice, or the ability of the American people to achieve greater opportunity.”

For a complete list of bills passed in the Committee on Wednesday and a description of each one, click here.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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