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Congress

The House Financial Services Committee passed three bills Thursday as part of a continued markup from May 7, along with another bill passed on May 7 by voice vote that are being welcomed by the finance industry.

“These bills are small but important steps towards addressing the crisis of creeping complexity with respect to regulatory burden,” said senior vice president of legislative affairs Ryan Donovan for the Credit Union National Association. “Credit unions appreciate the work of the sponsors and we look forward to seeing these bills come up for a vote on the House floor as soon as possible.”

 Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the bills had bipartisan support. 

“When we, as a committee, have the opportunity to help put Americans back to work, to help create jobs, we have the responsibility to do so and hopefully to do so on a bipartisan basis. This is why our committee has already guided 22 regulatory relief bills to House passage. The vast majority of those bills, once again, have received strong -- not just token -- but strong bipartisan support,” Hensarling said.

The bills include: 

  • H.R. 2673, Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., would treat mortgage loans held in portfolio as qualified mortgages. It passed committee 34-25.
  • H.R. 4466, Financial Regulatory Clarity Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., would require financial regulators to determine whether new regulations are duplicative or inconsistent with existing Federal regulations. It passed committee 34-25.
  • H.R. 4521, Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Blain Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., would exempt credit unions and other lenders under $10 billion from certain RESPA escrow requirements and exempt mortgage servicers servicing fewer than 20,000 loans from certain RESPA servicing requirements. It passed committee 43-16.
  • H.R. 3211, Mortgage Choice Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., passed by voice vote on May 7, 2014.  This bill would exclude from the definition of “points and fees” under the CFPB’s ability to repay rule compensation which is retained by a creditor or its affiliate as a result of its participation in an affiliated business arrangement as defined under RESPA.

“Now it is most regrettable that the Senate, where all good ideas go to languish and fail, has indeed failed to take up a single one of those bipartisan bills.  I would strongly encourage my Democratic colleagues, who may spend more quality time with the Senate Majority Leader and the President than do I, to encourage them to take up these bills, to contact their friends and colleagues in the Senate and in the White House and urge them to pay attention to what our committee has put forth on a bipartisan basis. This would indeed be very, very constructive. But again, despite the Senate’s failure to act, we must act,” Hensarling added.

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