On Tuesday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed S. 2155, also known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. The bill rolls back reforms from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
The bill cleared the Senate in March and was sent back to the House for approval.
This was the bill’s final passage. Now the bill heads to President Donald Trump’s desk to be approved.
All signs point to a signature of the legislation, and passage into law.
Supporters of the bill tout the regulatory relief the bill is supposed to bring to credit unions and community banks. The bill contains policies rolling back certain key parts from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill would allow some smaller and mid-sized banks to omit their cash balances held at the Federal Reserve and other central banks when calculating their supplementary leverage ratio, or what determines how much capital they need to hold.
Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens released a statement commending the House for passing the bill.
"I want to commend the House of Representatives for joining the Senate and passing this bill which will protect consumers and provide greater access to mortgage credit. Specifically, this legislation includes: SAFE Act amendments which provide mortgage loan originators with 120 days of transitional authority to originate when moving from a federal depository to a non-bank (or across state lines), subjecting Property Assessed Clean Lending (PACE) or property retrofit loans to Truth In Lending Act consumer protections, critical consumer protections to U.S. veterans who use the VA Home Loan program, clarifying the High Volatility Commercial Real Estate rule to help promote sustainable construction and development, and targeted TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure fixes. MBA looks forward to the President signing this bill into law."
The National Association of Realtors also applauded the bill's passage.
“We commend members of Congress for passing this bipartisan legislation to level the lending playing field for community banks and credit unions,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “This bill provides appropriate consumer protections while going a long way toward removing undue regulatory burdens on small lenders, which will help keep them strong, so they can help keep communities strong.”
The Texas Bankers Association also praised the bill's passage, tweeting: "@texasbankers thanks Congress for working together to pass bipartisan, commonsense legislation that will provide important regulatory relief for banks. #RegReform".
Opponents of the bill strongly cautioned against the bill’s passage prior to the vote. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., vehemently opposed the bill and voiced her opposition to the bill on the floor of the House.
“Republicans are trying to pass this bill off as an effort solely designed to benefit small community banks. But the truth is the bill is packed with poisonous provisions that benefit megabanks like Wells Fargo and companies like Equifax. It also weakens critical mortgage protections to ensure borrowers can afford their loans, and prevent discrimination and fraud,” she said in her prepared remarks.
Waters emphasized her opposition to the bill because she explained it weakens the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
“One of the most harmful elements of the bill is its weakening of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which is a key tool to detect and prevent discriminatory practices in the mortgage market. S. 2155 would allow 85% of depository institutions to avoid reporting new HMDA data required by Dodd-Frank even though they are already collecting the data– badly undermining efforts to ensure fair lending.”