AFR Statement: Three Bad Bills Get Committee’s OK, But Fail to Win Broad Support

Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee marked up three bills intended to repeal or prevent regulations that Wall Street does not like.

HR 414, the “Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act,” would eliminate a rule – recently issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and mandated by the Dodd Frank Act – directing public corporations to disclose the ratio of their CEO’s pay to their median worker’s pay. HR 1090, the “Retail Investor Protection Act,” would block the Department of Labor from requiring retirement investment advisers to look out for the best interests of their clients. HR 1266, the “Financial Product Safety Commission Act,” would change the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, putting it under a five-member commission instead of a single director.

The committee’s approval of these bills had not been in doubt. In fact, there had been speculation that in one or more cases, a substantial number of Democrats might join the Republican majority in their support. But that did not happen.

HR 414 passed on a straight party-line vote, while HR 1090 won the backing of only a single Democrat (Rep. David Scott of Georgia), and HR 1266 just two (Rep. Scott along with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona).

AFR strongly opposed these measures. (See our letters on HR 414, HR 1090, and HR 1266 respectively.

The results – three essentially party-line votes – diminish the chances that any of them will become law. That qualifies as a victory.