House Financial Services and Senate Banking committee chairmen unveil widely differing approaches to financial regulation.
Incoming House and Senate chairmen of committees dealing with oversight of financial institutions outlined vastly different priorities on Wednesday.
As expected, House Republicans selected Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina as the next chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
And Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, already selected to chair the Senate Banking Committee, issued an outline of what he wants to accomplish during the 118th Congress.
As might be expected in a divided Congress, their ideas are widely divergent.
Senate Banking Committee Priorities
“The Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee used to be all about Wall Street and big corporations,” Brown said. “When Democrats took control, we changed that. We’ve focused this committee’s work on the issues that matter most to working families and delivered real results.”
Brown said he remains committed to working with lawmakers and regulators in designing a comprehensive framework for regulating crypto that protects national security and puts consumers first.
The chairman added that his committee will also work on addressing the racial disparities in the housing system and plans to work to improve disclosures needed to protect communities affected by climate change.
He said further he wants to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program to “protect more families, businesses, and communities from the risks of flooding and help them recover more quickly when disaster does strike.”
Members of Congress from both parties have said they want to reauthorize the NFIP, but the legislation has gotten bogged down year after year—forcing Congress to extend the program in several short-term bills.
Future of the CFPB
Brown said additionally he wants to focus on protecting “the CFPB against repeated and coordinated Wall Street attacks and ensure that consumers continue to have a watchdog dedicated to holding bad actors accountable and protecting their pocketbooks.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and associations representing payday lenders have sued the CFPB. In one case, a federal appeals court has ruled that the funding scheme for the agency is unconstitutional since it draws money from the Federal Reserve and not through the annual appropriations process.
House Financial Services Committee Priorities
McHenry, on the other hand, is expected to increase oversight of the CFPB. Republicans have been harshly critical of the regulatory priorities of Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s choice to head the agency.
“As Chairman, I will pursue an innovation and opportunity agenda,” McHenry said. “We will focus our efforts on conducting appropriate and aggressive oversight of the Biden administration, as well as pursuing bipartisan legislation to put Americans back in control of their personal financial data, enhance capital formation opportunities, and develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for the digital asset ecosystem.”