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January 31, 2024

Capitol Hill Update – Month in Review Newsletter – January 2024

Congress returned from their holiday break with a full agenda and a focus on funding the government. With Congress passing another continuing resolution that funds the federal government until March, the Committees continued their oversight work on a number of proposed rules.

Raising Concerns with House Crypto Legislation

When the House returned from their holiday break, Better Markets sent a letter to House leadership laying out a number of serious concerns that all members should consider regarding crypto-friendly legislation. The letter points to serious questions about how it would affect investor, consumer, market, and financial stability protections. As the crypto industry has been lobbying for, this bill would also give the CFTC broad authority over crypto yet would not increase their resources to deal with this new authority properly. As everyone knows, the CFTC has been chronically underfunded for years and can’t even fully discharge its existing duties. You can read the full letter to House leadership here.

Protecting Retirement Savers at Financial Services Committee Hearing

On January 10th, House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee held a hearing focused on a new proposed rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) intended to protect retirement savers. Better Markets supports the rule as a needed reform to ensure that investment products being sold to consumers saving for their retirement truly has their best interest at the forefront. Be sure to read our comment letter on the rule here.

Standing up to Industry Lobbyists on Supervision of Systemically Important Banks

Also on January 10th, the House Financial Services Digital Assets Subcommittee held a hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) reinstatement of a rule that enables them to supervise and regulate systemically important nonbanks. This duty was legally mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act but was gutted during the Trump administration.  Unfortunately, rather than focus on these important powers and the fact that there is not one significantly significant nonbank in the US designated today, the hearing was largely focused on the baseless complaints of the crypto industry and industry lobbyists’ talking points against the FSOC rule. Better Markets has consistently raised concerns with crypto becoming connected to our banking system and causing havoc within our financial system. Read more on the FSOC’s finalized rule here.

Advocating for Interests of Investors and Proposed Climate Disclosure Rule

On January 18th, the House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee held a hearing on the SEC’s proposed but not yet finalized climate disclosure rule. During the hearing, opponents attacked the rule and the SEC, baselessly claiming the SEC was trying to be a climate regulator and going outside of its mandate. However, many Members of Congress rightfully pointed out that the rule is responding to investor demand, does not seek to regulate emissions, and focuses on disclosure. Better Markets agrees and supports the proposed rule to give investors more robust and reliable information.  The SEC has the clear authority to mandate the disclosure of material climate risk information that investors are demanding and that impact virtually every company in America. Read our full comment letter on the rule here.

Chair Brown and Senate Democrats Support Capital Proposals

Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown, sent a letter signed on by Senators Jack Reed, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen, Catherine Cortez Masto, Tina Smith, John Fetterman, Richard Blumenthal, Brian Schatz, Mazie Hirono, Angus King, and Tammy Duckworth to support and defend the capital proposals by the banking agencies. In the letter the Senators point to how the proposed rule would strengthen the financial system and protect consumers. You can read their full letter here.

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