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June 26, 2024

Capitol Hill Update – Month in Review Newsletter – June 2024

June was another busy month on Capitol Hill. Congress continued their work on the year end spending bill, held a number of important hearings, and is starting the process on high level nominations.

Senate Budget Committee Holds Hearing on Climate Change and Insurance Risk

On June 5th, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing entitled “Riskier Business: How Climate is Already Challenging Insurance Markets.” During the hearing, Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse spoke about how the climate crisis is wreaking havoc in the insurance market and harming homeowners. The hearing also brought up an issue that Better Markets has written about in the past: how the current insurance and climate crisis could lead to a banking crisis. Be sure to read Better Markets’ report on the insurance crisis here.

CFPB Director Defends Agency in Semi-Annual Report to Congress

On June 12th and 13th, the Director of the CFPB, Rohit Chopra, gave his Semi-Annual Report to Congress in the Senate and House. This is the first time that the Director has been on Capitol Hill since the Supreme Court upheld the CFPB’s funding structure. Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown and House Financial Services Ranking Member Waters both praised the Supreme Court’s decision and the CFPB’s actions to protect consumers and rein in junk fees in the financial industry.

Capitol Hill Reacts to Key Nominations

On June 13th the Biden Administration nominated several key positions across FDIC, SEC, and Treasury. Christy Goldsmith Romero was nominated for Chair of the FDIC, Caroline Crenshaw was renominated as a Commissioner of the SEC, and Kristin Johnson was nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Treasury Department. Chairman Brown and Ranking Member Waters both spoke favorably of the nominations due to their strong records in financial regulation and protecting consumers and taxpayers. Better Markets agrees and applauded the nominations. You can read our press release on the FDIC and Treasury nominations here, and the SEC nomination here.

Financial Services Spending Bill Moves Through Congress

On June 13th, the Senate Appropriations Financial Services & General Government Subcommittee held a hearing with the Chairmen of both the SEC and the CFTC to discuss their budget for the next fiscal year. During the hearing, crypto was a large part of the conversation, with Chairman Chris Van Hollen and Sen. Dick Durbin both expressing skepticism that the CFTC has the appropriate funds and mandates to protect consumers in an industry rife with fraud and abuse. Better Markets agrees, and put out a fact sheet in advance of the hearing on the deregulatory crypto market structure bill passed out of the House last month. Additionally, Better Markets put out a fact sheet that shows how the SEC continues to be underfunded to police the growing markets that they are responsible for. Be sure to read our crypto fact sheet here, and our SEC budget fact sheet here.

HFSC Stress Test Hearing 

On June 26th House Financial Services Financial Institutions Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Stress Testing: What’s Inside the Black Box?” During the hearing Ranking Member Foster highlighted the importance of stress testing, and to ensure that stress tests are actually stressful to protect consumers against a bank failure. Better Markets also created a fact sheet on stress tests, and to push back against industry calls for more transparency, which would give the answers to the stress test and allow banks to game the test. Be sure to read our fact sheet here.



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