May 1, 2017 / 8:34 PM / 4 months ago

Few surprises for banks, financials in U.S. budget deal

    By Lisa Lambert
    WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. budget deal Congress
is working to pass this week contains few surprises for the
financial services industry, according to documents released by
the House Appropriations Committee on Monday.
    Budget bills primarily lay out how government money can
flow, but often also include riders - smaller measures attached
to the budget so they can become law. During spending
negotiations last week, Democrats said many of the riders would
lead them to walk away from any budget deal, dubbing them
"poison pills."
    The proposal unveiled on Monday was hailed for its
bipartisan support. "It is a solid bill that reflects our common
values and that will help move our nation forward," said
Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Republican chairman of
the House appropriations committee.
    “Overall, the Democrats were successful at keeping the
omnibus funding bill from being hijacked by inappropriate policy
additions, keeping out over 160 proposed poison pill riders,"
said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at
Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group.
    The House of Representatives and Senate are expected to pass
the $1 trillion spending bill that was unveiled on Monday before
Friday.              
    Many on Capitol Hill and off had anticipated the bill would
include a rider on how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
is funded. 
    Currently, the agency receives its funding from the Federal
Reserve, but Republicans have pushed to move the CFPB into the
annual congressional budget, saying that would make it more
accountable to voters.
    Instead, the deal was much lighter, only requiring the CFPB
to report to Congress when it makes draws from the Fed.
    Democratic supporters of the CFPB, such as Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren, say receiving funds from the Fed
maintains the independence of the agency, created in the 2010
Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law to protect individuals from
fraud. Warren was former President Barack Obama's first choice
to lead the CFPB, and the party's "Warren Wing," which includes
the Banking Committee's senior Democrat, Sherrod Brown, is
committed to keeping it intact no matter the cost.
    "Opponents of the CFPB seem to realize that attempts to
weaken the agency through the budget process could potentially
derail a deal," said Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at Consumer
Federation of America and former CFPB official.
    The deal also maintains a contentious rider from the last
budget barring the Securities and Exchange Commission from
requiring companies to disclose their political donations.
    Democrats want major corporations to show to which
candidates and causes they give money, and last year worked to 
block two SEC commissioner nominations when the nominees would
not support donation disclosures. Republicans say the
disclosures are not material to investors.             
    

     
   

 (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler)
  

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