On Tuesday, President Donald Trump delivered his first speech to Congress. Not surprisingly, the President devoted a significant portion of the address to setting down clear principles for the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, restating his mission to provide tax relief for the middle class, reforming the country’s immigration system, and rebuilding the nation’s military and infrastructure.
Conspicuously absent from the President’s address was any mention of Wall Street, the Dodd-Frank Act or the CFPB. Since taking office approximately five weeks ago, President Trump has taken an aggressive stance against regulation by issuing several executive orders directing federal agencies to create de-regulatory task forces and ordering the repeal of two existing regulations before a new rule can be issued.
During his Congressional address, President Trump alluded to his efforts to curtail over-regulation:
“We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every government agency. And we’re imposing a new rule which mandates that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.”
President Trump did not, however, mention the Dodd-Frank Act once. Nor did he offer any insight into his plans to reform the CFPB or whether he intends to remove Richard Cordray before the end of his term as CFPB Director.
On the CFPB Monitor, Alan Kaplinsky made this observation:
“While it is hazardous to read too much into topics that he omitted from his speech, it is tempting to observe that the discharge and replacement of Richard Cordray as Director of the CFPB and the legislative initiatives to repeal or amend Dodd-Frank are not near the top of the President’s agenda.”
Based on recent legislative developments, this assessment appears to be on target. On March 1, 2017, Republican Congressman Blain Luetkemeyer estimated that the “timeline on [the Financial CHOICE Act] is somewhere in the next two to three months to get it out of the House, hopefully get it in the Senate.” This has led observers to believe that a Dodd-Frank replacement bill is still months away.
As we have discussed previously, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling introduced the original version of the Financial CHOICE Act in September 2016. While he has not yet introduced his revised version, it is believed that his latest version of the Financial CHOICE Act will contain a number of proposed changes to the CFPB that are dramatically different from the original. We anticipate that Hensarling will introduce a revised version of the legislation in the coming weeks.
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