Return of Congress: Two Congressional Hearings to Watch Next Week

Congress returns next week hopefully reinvigorated and ready to reduce regulation and pass meaningful tax reform following some time off. Congress has not accomplished too much this year, much like many past years, but hope springs eternal and after a bumpy start of the year perhaps our elected officials can actually accomplish much of what the promised prior to the last election.

Two upcoming Hearings that should be of interest to the financial types are posted below. As part of the House Financial Services Committee, these two hearings address issues of utmost importance.

The first, on Thursday, is a discussion on proposing more efficient regulations for the financial services sector. As most people understand, financial services are being crushed under an avalanche of rules and regulation that undermine the businesses that serve both businesses and consumers. And as we all know, the cost of compliance is shouldered by these same consumers and businesses. More thoughtful regulation is good for all.

Secondly, there will be a discussion on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA has been criticized in the past for its heavy handed operations. David Burton, a highly respected thought leader in securities regulation, stated earlier this year;

“FINRA is a regulator of central importance to the functioning of US capital markets. It is neither a true self-regulatory organization nor a government agency. It is largely unaccountable to the industry or to the public. Due process, transparency, and regulatory review protections normally associated with regulators are not present, and its arbitration process is flawed.”

So is Congress going to address any perceived or real shortcomings at FINRA? Watch the hearings next week to learn more.

Thursday, September 7 at 10:00 A.M. – The Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime.”  The subcommittee is expected to consider six bills:

H.R. 1849 (Rep. Trott), the Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017

H.R. 2359 (Rep. Loudermilk), the FCRA Liability Harmonization Act

H.R. 3312 (Rep. Luetkemeyer), the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act of 2017

H.R. ____ (Rep. Royce), the Facilitating Access to Credit Act

H.R. ____ (Rep. Tenney), the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act

H.R. ____ (Rep. Hill), the TRID Improvement Act of 2017

Thursday, September 7 at 2:00 P.M. – The Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.”  Members of the subcommittee are expected to discuss FINRA’s current regulatory agenda, the role of self-regulation in the U.S. capital markets, FINRA’s structure as a self-regulatory organization and its relationship with and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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