Appropriations proposal for 2019 includes changes in BCFP funding, mandates major rule approval

Several proposals outlined by acting director this spring included

Several provisions for reforming the federal consumer financial protection bureau – and reflecting proposals made by the acting director of the agency this spring – are included in a financial services appropriations bill that is expected to be marked up Thursday.

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the legislation Wednesday.

In April, the acting director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as the CFPB) told Congress in the agency’s semiannual report that he recommended changes to the law creating the bureau to “establish meaningful accountability for it. The House Appropriations Committee’s fiscal year 2019 financial services and general government appropriations bill released Wednesday reflects a number the recommendations by Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the consumer bureau.

In the semiannual report released in April, Mulvaney recommended changes in the law that included:

  • The agency be funded through the congressional appropriations process (rather than from the Federal Reserve);
  • Congress must approve major rules issued by the agency;
  • The bureau’s director should answer to the president “in the exercise of executive authority;”
  • An independent inspector general for the agency should be created.

The proposed financial services appropriations package includes at least three of those: funding the agency through the appropriations process, creating an independent inspector general for the agency and establishing a procedure for approving major rules issued by the agency (the proposal also includes a provision for congressional disapproval of non-major rules).

The legislation also provides for “stress test relief for nonbanks.”

“The bill brings the rogue, unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the appropriations process, which will finally subject it to congressional oversight and accountability,” said financial services subcommittee Chairman Tom Graves (R-Ga.) in a release.

Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Services Bill