Legislative Activity

Financial Services Lawmakers Hone in on Dodd-Frank Reform as Fifth-Year Anniversary Approaches

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed along party lines in a 16-14 vote a $20.6 billion financial services appropriations package into which Republican appropriators inserted Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) financial services regulatory reform bill. While the bill will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration, Senate Democrats are expected to continue blocking appropriations bills from coming to the floor. As such, Republican tactics will have no direct impact on financial services regulations. The move may, however, result in an environment in which it is even harder for lawmakers to come together on reforms.

In the House, with the fifth anniversary since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act now behind them (and the Volcker Rule compliance date having officially passed last week), financial services lawmakers are continuing to focus on ways to reform the law and will hold a series of hearings to examine the state of financial services regulation. The first of such hearings is scheduled for this coming week, with lawmakers set to discuss whether Dodd-Frank has made the nation more prosperous.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, July 28: The House Financial Services Committee will hold a markup of various pieces of legislation.
  • Tuesday, July 28: The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “The Dodd-Frank Act Five Years Later: Are We More Prosperous?”
  • Tuesday, July 28: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban.”
  • Wednesday, July 29: The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing titled “Dodd-Frank Turns Five: Assessing the Progress of Global Derivatives Reform.”
  • Wednesday, July 29: The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled “Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection.”

Regulatory Activity

Constitutional Challenge to the CFPB to Move Forward

Last week, the DC Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of a lower court and found that Texas-based State National Bank of Big Spring has standing to challenge both the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the recess appointment of Director Richard Cordray. The Court did not address the merits of the case, the central argument of which goes to the single director structure and insulation against oversight. This comes on the heels of newly introduced legislation by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to eliminate the agency.

CFTC to Hold Meeting of Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee

On Wednesday, July 29, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a meeting of its Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC), which is sponsored by Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo. The meeting will focus on the Commission’s proposed rules with respect to position limits, trade options, and its recent final interpretation concerning forward contracts with embedded volumetric optionality and how these initiatives will impact energy and environmental markets.