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Category Archives: Legislation

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act and Selected Policy Issues

CRS report – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) and Selected Policy Issues. January 10, 2018. R45073.

“Some observers assert the financial crisis of 2007-2009 revealed that excessive risk had built up in the financial system, and that weaknesses in regulation contributed to that buildup and the resultant instability. In response, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203; the Dodd-Frank Act), and regulators strengthened rules under existing authority. Following this broad overhaul of financial regulation, some observers argue certain changes are an overcorrection, resulting in unduly burdensome regulation. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) was reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on December 18, 2017. S. 2155 would modify Dodd-Frank provisions, such as the Volcker Rule (a ban on proprietary trading and certain relationships with investment funds), the qualified mortgage criteria under the Ability-to-Repay Rule, and enhanced regulation for large banks; provide smaller banks with an “off ramp” from Basel III capital requirements—standards agreed to by national bank regulators as part of an international bank regulatory framework; and make other changes to the regulatory system. Most changes proposed by S. 2155 as reported can be grouped into one of four issue areas: (1) mortgage lending, (2) regulatory relief for “community” banks, (3) credit reporting, and (4) regulatory relief for large banks. Some observers assert the financial crisis of 2007-2009 revealed that excessive risk had built up in the financial system, and that weaknesses in regulation contributed to that buildup and the resultant instability. In response, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203; the Dodd-Frank Act), and regulators strengthened rules under existing authority. Following this broad overhaul of financial regulation, some observers argue certain changes are an overcorrection, resulting in unduly burdensome regulation. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) was reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on December 18, 2017. S. 2155 would modify Dodd-Frank provisions, such as the Volcker Rule (a ban on proprietary trading and certain relationships with investment funds), the qualified mortgage criteria under the Ability-to-Repay Rule, and enhanced regulation for large banks; provide smaller banks with an “off ramp” from Basel III capital requirements—standards agreed to by national bank regulators as part of an international bank regulatory framework; and make other changes to the regulatory system. Most changes proposed by S. 2155 as reported can be grouped into one of four issue areas: (1) mortgage lending, (2) regulatory relief for “community” banks, (3) credit reporting, and (4) regulatory relief for large banks…”

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress

CRS report – Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress, January 10, 2018 R42843. “This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process—from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration. However, the process by which a bill can… Continue Reading

CRS Update: Who’s the Boss at the CFPB?

UPDATE: Who’s the Boss at the CFPB? – Valerie C. Brannon Legislative Attorney Jared P. Cole Legislative Attorney. January 11, 2018. “Update: On January 10, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Leandra English’s request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (Vacancies Act) authorized the President to… Continue Reading

Bill Would Establish Cybersecurity Inspections, Impose Mandatory Penalties, and Compensate Consumers for Stolen Data

“United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold large credit reporting agencies (CRAs) – including Equifax – accountable for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more direct supervisory authority over data security at CRAs,… Continue Reading

Trump Justice Department Pushes for Citizenship Question on Census, Alarming Experts

ProPublica: “Two members of Congress are pushing back against a proposal by the Justice Department to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census. In a letter sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who has the authority to decide on census questions, Reps. Jose Serrano and Grace Meng, both New York Democrats, call on… Continue Reading

Smart Toys and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998

Smart Toys and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 – CRS Legal Sidebar – Gina Stevens, Legislative Attorney. January 8, 2018: “A growing number of devices in American households, including televisions, appliances, security systems, and heating and cooling devices, rely on Internet connectivity to perform a range of functions. And the “Internet of… Continue Reading

Receive an Email when Member of Congress has New Remark Printed in CR

In Custodia Legis – “Congress.gov alerts are emails sent to you when a measure (bill or resolution), nomination, or member profile has been updated with new information. You can also receive an email after a Member has new remarks printed in the Congressional Record. Here are instructions on how to get an email after a Member… Continue Reading

California Senate to Hear EFF’s License Plate Cover Bill

EFF – “Across the country, private companies are deploying vehicles mounted with automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to drive up and down streets to document the travel patterns of everyday drivers. These systems take photos of every license plate they see, tag them with time and location, and upload them to a central database. These… Continue Reading

Acquisition Reform in the FY2016 – FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs)

CRS report via FAS – Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) Moshe Schwartz, Specialist in Defense Acquisition. January 4, 2018″Congress has long been interested in defense acquisition and generally exercises its legislative powers to affect defense acquisitions through Title VIII of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), entitled Acquisition Policy, Acquisition… Continue Reading

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

CRS report via FAS – Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile. Jennifer E. Manning, Senior Research Librarian, January 3, 2018: “This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 3, 2018. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age,… Continue Reading

GPO Completes Digitization of Historical Congressional Record 1873-1890

“In cooperation with the Library of Congress, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has completed the digitization of all historical issues of the Congressional Record dating to the first appearance of this publication on March 5, 1873.  The final release of this project, covering the period 1873-1890, is being made available to the public free… Continue Reading

Federal Fraud Recoveries Decline in Fiscal Year 2017

POGO: “On the Thursday before Christmas, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its annual fraud recovery numbers. The DOJ announced it had recouped $3.7 billion through settlements and judgments in False Claims Act cases in fiscal year 2017. This amount is nearly 23 percent lower than the previous fiscal year, but roughly in line with FY… Continue Reading