Legislative Activity

House Passes Derivatives Bills

Last Wednesday, June 12, the House passed several bills related to certain derivatives and swaps regulation provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act. Included among the bills was H.R. 1256, a controversial proposal that would direct the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adopt a joint rule on the regulation of swaps transactions between U.S. citizens and foreign entities. Of note, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently stated that the CFTC should “show some backbone” and not follow foreign banks’ request to delay the July 12 compliance date for certain derivatives rules. The House also passed H.R. 634, H.R. 742, H.R. 1038, and H.R. 2167 with strong bipartisan support. It is unclear what, if any, action the Senate will take on these bills.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, June 18: The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development will hold a hearing titled, “Long Term Sustainability for Reverse Mortgages: HECM’s Impact on the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund.”
  • Tuesday, June 18: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing titled “Examining How the Dodd-Frank Act Hampers Home Ownership.”
  • Tuesday, June 18: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to review the budget of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Executive Branch Activity

CFTC Commissioners Speak Out on Looming Cross Border Deadline

With the July 12 deadline for compliance with CFTC cross-border rules inching closer, two CFTC Commissioners have spoken publicly about how the Commissioner should address the issue of international and domestic regulatory harmonization. Democratic Commissioner Bart Chilton recently called for increased compromise among regulators and a phased-in compliance period for market participants, while Republican Commissioner Scott O’Malia has called for extending the compliance deadline with adequate notice to avoid disrupting market activity.

FIO Sends First Report to Congress

The Federal Insurance Office (FIO) has released its first annual report to Congress regarding the status of the insurance industry, legal developments, and emerging trends on insurance. The report differs from the long-awaited study that the FIO must submit to Congress on how to modernize and improve the current system of insurance regulation, which has been delayed since January 2012.