President likely to veto bills cutting HAMP, CFPB funding
The White House budget office advised lawmakers not to push forward with a bill that would reduce funding levels for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program. Obama's budget team released an advisory, saying the White House is opposed to several sections of House Bill 2434, which attempts to establish 2012 funding levels for government financial agencies. "If the President is presented with a bill that undermines either the Affordable Care Act or the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act through funding limits or other restrictions, or reverses current policies on Cuba, his senior advisers would recommend a veto," the Office of Management and Budget warned. The President's budget team says the bill, in its current form, would kill HAMP, ending the program's ability to help struggling homeowners into loan modifications, while placing overly strict limits on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's budget. HR 2434 says "during fiscal year 2012, the board of governors of the Federal Reserve may not transfer more than $200 million to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection." In the past, the Fed has said the bureau needs about $500 million in funding. The President's budget office issued a hard line of attack on H.R. 2434 saying the administration "opposes the alteration of the CFPB's mandatory funding structure as authorized by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which would compromise the Bureau's independence." The bureau goes live July 21, becoming the top cop of the mortgage finance and consumer financial products space. The President's office says the proposed bill would limit the bureau's expenditures undercutting "the agencies statutory responsibility to oversee consumer financial products." Write to Kerri Panchuk.