House Committee Reigns in Bureau in FY17 Budget

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, the House Financial Services Committee adopted by a vote of 33 to 24 its Budget Views and Estimates for financial services programs for Fiscal Year 2017.  The Views and Estimates will now be submitted to the Budget Committee for consideration in formulating a budget resolution, which, by statute, is to be completed by April 15 of each year.


In his opening statement, Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) called attention to the nation’s unsustainable rate of spending. “It is neither fair nor compassionate to continue spending money we don’t have, for that ultimately makes it impossible to support the safety net for those who truly need it,” he said.  “The answer is prosperity, not austerity.  That’s how we can help create a more secure and more confident America.”


Through its Views and Estimates, the committee also expressed continued frustration with provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, the lack of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform, and the scope of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, among other issues.  In particular, the Views and Estimates called for bringing accountability to the CFPB by putting the Bureau under Congressional appropriations and reforming its structure.


During budget debate, Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) offered an amendment to retain the current funding mechanism for the CFPB.  Several members including Reps. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), and Sean Duffy (R-WI) defended the Committee’s view on the CFPB’s structural flaws.  The vote to adopt the Waters amendment failed 24 to 30, in a party line vote.