House speaker: ‘reg relief’ to be voted on by end of month; 2nd package being prepared

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) responds to reporters’ questions during Tuesday press conference at the Capitol.

Financial institution “regulatory relief” will proceed on two fronts in the House this month – including action on legislation already approved by the Senate, and an additional separate piece of legislation, leaders said Tuesday.

In remarks during his weekly press conference Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) indicated that the House action on S.2155 — the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act — is expected this “work period,” which ends just before the Memorial Day holiday. S. 2155 was passed by the Senate March 14 on a 67-31 vote. It is strongly supported by financial institutions, which have been pushing the House to consider the legislation “as is” without amendments.

However, as Ryan indicated at the press conference, the House will also consider a second package of regulatory relief for financials before the Memorial Day recess. That package, he indicated, will include additional relief measures not included in the Senate bill. He said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has been working with senators about provisions in the second bill.

“We’ve got an agreement to be moving a different piece of legislation, so we will be moving the Dodd-Frank bill,” Ryan told reporters.

S. 2155, If enacted, it would:

  • Exempt banks with assets of less than $10 billion from the “Volcker Rule,” which prohibits banking agencies from engaging in proprietary trading or entering into certain relationships with hedge funds and private equity funds. Certain banks are also exempted by the bill from specified capital and leverage ratios, with federal banking agencies directed to promulgate new requirements.
  • Allow institutions with less than $10 billion in assets to waive ability-to-repay requirements under the Truth in Lending Act for certain residential-mortgage loans. Other mortgage lending provisions related to appraisals, mortgage data, employment of loan originators, manufactured homes, and transaction waiting periods are also modified.
  • Modify enhanced prudential regulation of financial institutions, such as those related to stress testing, leverage requirements, and the use of municipal bonds for purposes of meeting liquidity requirements.
  • Require credit reporting agencies to provide credit-freeze alerts.

The legislation also includes consumer credit provisions related to senior citizens, minors, and veterans.