April 10, 2024

Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation intended to address historic levels of fraud within federal funds that were passed to help Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fraud Prevention and Recovery Act includes resources and programs intended to strengthen efforts to recover stolen pandemic funds, hold bad actors accountable, prevent identity theft and ensure taxpayer dollars are being used effectively. The legislation also includes safeguards to prevent future fraud and improper use of federal relief funds.

The legislation is modeled on President Biden’s Sweeping Pandemic Anti-Fraud Proposal highlighted in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget. Read the White House’s fact sheet on the legislation here.  

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its Spring 2024 Supervisory Highlights report. The report, which covers select examinations in credit reporting and furnishing, found that consumer reporting companies failed to ensure the accuracy of credit reports, including by failing to exclude information resulting from alleged identity theft or human trafficking. The CFPB also found furnishers – companies that provide information to consumer reporting companies – failed to correct false or fraudulent information sent to consumer reporting companies. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (proposed regulations) on the stock buyback or “repurchase” excise tax included in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The proposed regulations provide additional clarity to taxpayers and tax professionals on how to properly calculate and pay the new stock buyback excise tax on corporate stock buybacks, and largely adopt the framework of Notice 2023-2, published in January 2023.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a comprehensive report on how the FDIC would manage the orderly resolution of a large, complex financial company under Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). In remarks to the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg presented the Overview of Resolution Under Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act, the detailed description to date of the FDIC’s preparedness to use its Title II resolution authority in a manner that promotes financial stability and prevents taxpayer bailouts.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it will extend until June 15, 2024, the comment period on its proposal to update its rules for business combinations to allow interested parties more time to provide comments. The proposal also includes a policy statement to clarify the OCC’s review of applications under the Bank Merger Act. Comments were originally due by April 15, 2024.

CFPB Deputy Director Zixta Martinez submitted a comment letter to the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules supporting  appraisal-related changes to the state’s proposed Community Reinvestment Act rules.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced Christopher L. Skinner has been appointed CFTC’s Inspector General (IG). Mr. Skinner comes to the CFTC from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) where he served as IG since 2019.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler held office hours on the U.S. Treasury Markets. Chair Gensler discussed the SEC’s recent rules regarding the Treasury Market.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued for public comment a proposal regarding public reporting of standardized firm and engagement metrics and a separate proposal regarding the PCAOB framework for collecting information from audit firms. The deadline for public comment on both proposals is June 7, 2024.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said Tuesday he is “hopeful” he can introduce a bill soon that would give the Treasury Department more power to crack down on the use of crypto for illicit financing, Politico reported.  Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo reupped calls at a Tuesday Senate Banking hearing for Congress to expand the agency’s authority.

Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a measure to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule capping credit card late penalties. Senators John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Boozman (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Katie Britt (R-AL) joined the Ranking Member on the resolution, arguing the CFPB’s rule will decrease the availability of credit card products for those who need it most, raise rates for many borrowers who carry a balance but pay on time, and increase the likelihood of late payments across the board.

Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN), members of the Senate Banking Committee, released a discussion draft of the Ensuring Necessary Financial Oversight and Reporting of Cryptocurrency Ecosystems (ENFORCE) Act. The legislation is intended to ensure that centralized and consumer-facing cryptocurrency financial institutions follow Bank Secrecy Act anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) standards while also providing regulators and law enforcement with additional important tools to combat digital asset illicit finance.

House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) , led 55 House Democrats in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Administrator of the Office Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) urging them to expedite the review process of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Retirement Security Rule. The Representatives stated that the rule will strengthen critically needed guardrails and protect working families and retirees from conflicted financial advice by self-serving financial professionals regarding employee-sponsored retirement plans.

House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have a deal on a bipartisan data privacy bill they plan to unveil next week, Punchbowl news reported. The proposal would create a national data privacy standard, replacing assorted state standards. Companies would face limits on what data they can collect and use. Another provision would allow individuals to sue “bad actors” for violating their privacy rights. There also would be new data security standards to hold companies accountable if data is hacked or stolen.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) highlighted the Senate’s policy priorities during the upcoming work period beginning next week. In a letter to Democratic colleagues, Schumer wrote that he seeks to “make progress” on several bipartisan bills that would expand the child tax credit, hold failed bank executives accountable, safeguard cannabis banking, and more.

Need to catch up on what happened last week? Check out our April 5th End of Week Wrap Up here