Friday, November 19, 2010

Dodd-Frank Consumer Credit Reforms Under Assault

Do you accept credit cards in payment from your customers? Does your business use credit cards to pay vendors? Either way, you will be affected by the new consumer protection rules to be promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill signed by President Obama in July. One of the top Republican congressmen on the Financial Services Committee, Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, has promised to defund the Bureau once the new Republican House majority assumes power in January.

Other incoming House Republican leaders, including presumptive Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and leading Financial Services Committee chair candidates Spencer Bachus of Alabama and Ed Royce of California, are expected to introduce legislation revoking the independent funding of the Bureau from the Federal Reserve which is set to begin in July, 2011. Royce has also proposed giving bank regulators the power to veto any Bureau rules.

Republican Congressmen and banking industry lobbyists are attacking the rulemaking powers of the Bureau, because President Obama is likely to veto any Republican backed legislation weakening the power of the new regulators, headed by Harvard Law Professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren. Republicans believe subjection of the Bureau’s budget to the annual Congressional budgeting process will subject the Bureau’s exercise of its rulemaking powers to increased political pressure from a Republican dominated House, where appropriation measures must originate.
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