Liveblog: Senate rejects some key House fixes on consumer protection

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Senator Dodd is responding to the House offer now. The Senate is accepting 15 House changes, with modifications, and rejecting 8.

Senator Dodd says that, under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, any company that provides a financial product or service will be subject to the same rules. He’ll have to get rid of all the House carve-outs to live up to this promise.

What’s in the Senate counter-offer:

Reject any CFPB examination and enforcement authority over small banks or credit unions. Complete rejection of this House proposal – that only gave the CFPB ride-along examination authority with the primary prudential regulator – is extreme.

Retain a Senate amendment that gives some lenders – like payday lenders – first crack at influencing rules before they’re made public. In what alternate reality is that fair?

Refuse the House’s minor change to the preemption standard that would
require that, before a state consumer protection is preempted, that a
federal law exists to replace it.

Reject the House fix on FTC rulemaking. Senator Dodd says this issue deserves serious consideration by Congress, that consumers are obviously better off if the FTC is not hamstrung – and that it’s nearly impossible for the FTC to write consumer rules now. But the Senate blew it because they didn’t put this it in their original bill at the request of the Commerce committee. Right policy, bad politics?

Dodd would instead give the FTC very limited new rulemaking authority in a counteroffer to address the auto dealer exemption.  Senate offer would give the FTC limited relief from the restrictive Magnuson-Moss rulemaking procedure to give it APA
authority in regards to TILA provisions concerning auto dealerd. (Dodd noted the still shocking Senate floor vote where 60 Senators from both sides of the aisle voted to instruct Senate conferees to give the auto dealers a carveout.)

Debate ongoing – but the Senate’s offer overall rejects key improvements to the CFPB proposed by the House.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
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