Congressional Workload and the Summer of 2018
This month promises to be extremely busy and potentially brutal one in Washington. The Senate will start to fill the vacancy created on the Supreme Court due to Justice Kennedy’s retirement. A long August recess looms large for the House where many Representatives will endure a long contentious campaign season. We have highlighted these and other issues in this summary as we preview what we believe will be the focus in Washington this month, subject as always to external or unexpected events that could disrupt the schedule.
Deputy Director English Stepping Down from CFPB
On July 6, 2018 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Deputy Director, Leandra English, announced that she would be stepping down from her position at the bureau as well as ending her lawsuit challenging Mick Mulvaney's leadership as Acting Director. According to English, she is taking this action in light of President Trump nominating Kathy Kraninger (currently serving as a Program Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget) as CFPB’s next Director.
Dispute over CFPB’s leadership started in November 2017 when on the same day outgoing Director, Richard Cordray, named Ms. English as his successor, the Trump administration instead appointed Mr. Mulvaney (who is also Director of OMB) as temporary Acting Director of the bureau.
The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold Ms. Kraninger’s nomination hearing on July 19 and if confirmed, she will serve a five-year term. Mr. Mulvaney will continue to serve as CFPB's Acting Director until a new Director is confirmed.
Mulvaney Appoints Interim Deputy Director at CFPB
CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney named Brian Johnson to be the bureau’s Acting Deputy Director until a permanent Director can be named. President Trump has nominated Kathy Kraninger to run the agency as the permanent Director.
Johnson currently serves as CFPB’s Principal Policy Director. He is a former aide to House Financial Services Chairman Hensarling. In his role with Chairman Hensarling, he worked closely with Nacha staff on various payments issues. He joined the bureau late last year.
Federal Reserve Issued Proposed Rulemaking on ISO 20022 Adoption for Fedwire
On July 5, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) released a request for comment to adopt the ISO 20022 message format for their Fedwire Service. The migration to ISO 20022 would take place in three phases beginning in 2020 and ending in 2023. Switching over the message format could make payments more efficient and aid in efforts to screen payments for sanctions violations and money laundering, the Fed said. The comment due date is Sept. 4, 2018.
Rep. McHenry Urges Treasury to Intervene Against Postal Banking
On June 27, 2018, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that the agency’s special task force on postal reform include a recommendation in its upcoming review of the U.S. Postal Service to prohibit the USPS from piloting or expanding any nonpostal banking services.
In the letter, Rep. McHenry cited concerns that “postal banking would create a government subsidy that puts taxpayers on the hook to finance” which would be administered by an agency with a poor risk track record. He wrote “Congress made clear in 2006 that the Postal Service is prohibited from offering new, nonpostal services” and that "any attempts by the Postal Service to expand or enhance its banking services are well beyond the scope of its statutory authority."
Click here to read the full letter.
Legislative Calendars for 2018