Senate to Hold Hearing on Federal Reserve Nominees
This Thursday, March 13, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on various nominations to the Federal Reserve Board, including the nomination of Stanley Fischer, former Bank of Israel Governor, to be Vice Chairman. The committee will also consider the nominations of former U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard, to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, as well as the nomination of current Governor Jerome Powell, to serve another term on the Federal Reserve Board.
The hearing comes shortly after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s ceremonial swearing-in ceremony last Wednesday, March 5, where she indicated that the Federal Reserve is still falling short of its goals of controlling inflation and achieving full employment. “The economy continues to operate considerably short of these objectives . . . I promise to do all that I can, working with my fellow policymakers, to achieve the very important goals Congress has assigned to the Federal Reserve,” she said.
House Passes Flood Insurance Legislation
Last Tuesday, March 4, the House voted 306-91 to pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. The bill implements a 15 percent cap on rate increases for individual properties, and provides refunds for some homeowners who have already incurred higher premiums as a result of the 2012 reforms. The Senate passed a different version of the legislation in January, but is expected to consider the House-passed version soon.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Tuesday, March 11: The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled “Finding the Right Capital Regulations for Insurers.”
- Wednesday, March 12: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade will hold a hearing titled, “Federal Reserve Oversight: Examining the Central Bank’s Role in Credit Allocation.”
- Thursday, March 13: The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Federal Reserve, National Credit Union, and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) nominations.
- Thursday, March 13: The Senate Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing titled, “The Economic Report of the President 2014.”
White House Releases FY2015 Budget Proposal
Last Tuesday, March 4, the White House released President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget Proposal (the Budget). The Budget would allocate $13.8 billion to the Department of Treasury, including $20 million for the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and $92 million for the Office of Financial Research (OFR). The Budget would allocate $1.7 billion to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which represents an increase of $350 million over current funding levels and $26 million more than the FY 2014 President’s Budget. Additionally, the Budget would allocate $280 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which represents an increase of $65 million over current funding levels and a decrease from the $315 million in the FY 2014 President’s Budget.
The Budget would allocate $46.7 billion to HUD. The Budget also emphasizes that “HUD will seek authority enabling FHA to, on a case by case basis, require third party servicing of loans by institutions equipped to reduce losses to the fund and assist borrowers.”