On October 17, the Congressional Budget Office responded to a request from the House Financial Services Committee and issued certain cost estimates associated with the implementation of the proposed “Financial Regulatory Clarity Act of 2014.” Specifically, the CBO estimated that the bill would cost the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau $7 million between 2015 and 2024, and the bill would, in turn, reduce the Federal Reserve’s revenues by the same amount over that period.
The bill, H.R. 4466, was sponsored by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and passed by the House Financial Services Committee on May 22, 2014. It would require federal financial regulators to determine whether any new administrative regulations or orders are duplicative or inconsistent with existing rules. In addition to the CFPB and the Federal Reserve Board, the bill would apply to the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). When and if these agencies discover that new regulations are duplicative or inconsistent with existing ones, they are further required by the bill to report their discovery to Congress within 60 days of making it.
The CBO predicted that, due to offsetting industry collections, there would be no net change to direct spending for the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or the National Credit Union Administration. Similarly, because the SEC may collect fees to offset its annual appropriations, the CBO estimates that the actual cost of the bill to the agency would be negligible. However, the additional staff required to satisfy the bill’s requirements would cost the CFTC, on net, about $4 million. Finally, because enacting the bill could affect direct spending and revenues and thus trigger “pay-as-you-go” procedures, the CBO estimated the bill would increase future budget deficits by $14 million between 2015-2024.
A companion bill to H.R. 4466 has been introduced in the Senate and was referred to committee on September 16, 2014.