House to Consider Abolishing CFPB, CDFI Program
Votes will focus on amendments to FY24 Financial Services spending bill.
The House will consider proposals to eliminate the CFPB and the CDFI program when it considers the FY24 Financial Services Appropriations bill—most likely later this week.
The House Rules Committee on Tuesday approved, 9–3, a rule governing floor debate for consideration of H.R. 4664, the annual appropriations bill that funds financial services programs. In approving the rule, the committee decided which of the 288 amendments submitted will be considered on the floor.
The panel set aside ten minutes for debate on an amendment proposed by Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., that would eliminate the CDFI program. The appropriations bill already would cut $45 million from the FY23 funding level of $324 million.
The House also will spend ten minutes debating a proposal by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., that would eliminate all funding for the CFPB. Even without that amendment, the House bill would transform the agency from one run by a single director to one run by a five-member commission, as well as subject the agency to the annual appropriation process.
House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., outlined the philosophy behind H.R. 4664, telling the Rules Committee, “The pursuit of a job-killing, burdensome, and unnecessary regulatory agenda only serves to further bloat a federal bureaucracy that has become too big, too intrusive, and counter-intuitive to limited government.”
Even if the House approves those amendments to the appropriations measure, supporters of the programs in the Senate will have sufficient votes to exclude them from a Senate bill.
That would mean the issues would be addressed in a House-Senate conference.
The House bill does not, however, include controversial credit card interchange provisions that some Senators have been pushing.
Adding to the uncertainty, the Biden Administration has issued a Statement of Administration Policy saying that the president would veto the House bill if presented to him in its current form.
Addressing the CDFI cuts in the House bill, the administration said, “This reduction would decrease financial assistance and technical assistance awards to certified and emerging CDFIs, reducing economic opportunity in economically distressed communities, including rural and urban areas.”
And the administration made it clear that it opposes plans to convert the CFPB into a commission and fund it through the annual appropriations process, stating, “The Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB as an independent agency and provided for permanent funding.”
What Comes Next?
Congress has not enacted any of the FY24 appropriations bills. It currently is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that is funding much of the government through Nov. 17. If Congress does not pass additional legislation, many federal agencies would be forced to temporarily close.
The NCUA and CFPB are not subject to the annual appropriation process, so neither agency would shut its doors.
However, the National Flood Insurance Program is temporarily reauthorized in the CR and if additional authorization is not enacted, program administrators would not be able to write new flood insurance policies.