U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today lauded the House of Representatives passage of the bipartisan legislation package that he negotiated, co-wrote, and helped introduce last November, and helped pass in the Senate in March. The bill now heads to President Trump, who has previously said he would sign it into law.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act would reduce regulatory burdens on the 103 community banks and 154 credit unions in Indiana and provide several new protections to consumers, veterans, and servicemembers.
Donnelly, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said, “I’m pleased the House has passed my bipartisan legislation that would make it easier for Hoosier families to get a mortgage and for small businesses to expand, while protecting the safety of our financial system. This bill is an example of what we can achieve when we work together and break through gridlock. Importantly, this package includes several new consumer protections related to student loan borrowers, free credit freezes, credit monitoring for servicemembers, and protections for veterans from VA billing delays and predatory mortgage lending. I look forward to President Trump signing it into law.”
Donnelly helped write and voted for the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 when he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and continues to support the important reforms included in the law. Donnelly’s bill maintains the key elements of Dodd-Frank to ensure the safety and soundness of our financial system.
This bipartisan regulatory relief package is carefully written to provide needed regulatory relief to Main Street community banks and credit unions, which have been inadvertently burdened by rules and regulations intended to hold Wall Street accountable. This package would promote economic growth by making commonsense reforms to increase mortgage and small business lending, while protecting consumers. Federal banking regulators have reported that the number of small business loans is down 41 percent since 2008.
The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act has broad support from organizations in Indiana and across the country:
- Indiana Chamber of Commerce,
- Indiana Credit Union League,
- Indiana Bankers Association,
- Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association,
- Indiana Association of Realtors,
- Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreational Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC),
- Indiana Builders Association
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
- Credit Union National Association,
- National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions,
- Independent Community Bankers of America,
- American Bankers Association,
- Mortgage Bankers Association,
- Consumer Bankers Association,
- Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America,
- National Association of Home Builders,
- National Association of REALTORS,
- Third Way,
- National Federation of Independent Business, and
- Bipartisan Policy Center.
The legislative package has also received positive comments from respected experts such as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, among others.
Donnelly-led and Donnelly-supported measures in the package that would benefit Hoosiers:
- Increasing Credit Access: The bill includes a number of provisions related to community banks and credit unions that would increase their ability to extend credit to Hoosier small businesses and families. Donnelly-authored provisions, include the “Qualified Mortgage” provision to boost mortgage lending, and longer exam cycles for highly-rated community banks. These provisions would allow small financial institutions to focus on traditional banking to help more families obtain mortgages and small business loans.
- Responding to the Equifax Breach: This provision would allow consumers, free of charge, to freeze and unfreeze their credit and set year-long fraud alerts. The Federal Trade Commission and the major credit bureaus would be required to set up webpages where consumers could easily freeze their credit, set a fraud alert, and opt-out of pre-approved credit offers. Donnelly pursued these reforms to protect consumers after the massive Equifax data breach that may have compromised the personal information of approximately 145 million Americans.
- Protecting Servicemembers: This provision would provide free credit monitoring for all active-duty servicemembers.
- Protecting Veterans Credit: This provision, based on a bipartisan bill Donnelly previously introduced, would ensure veterans are not wrongly penalized by medical bill payment delays by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Offering Student Loan Fairness: This provision would discharge student loan debt from parent co-signers in the event of student borrower death or bankruptcy.And, another Donnelly-authored provision, based on previously introduced legislation, would require Treasury’s Financial Literacy Commission to develop best practices for colleges to assist students making financial decisions related to borrowing.
- Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing: This provision, based on Donnelly’s bipartisan Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, would ensure consumers can receive general financing information from retailers in order to purchase affordable homes.
- Stopping Predatory VA Refinancings: This provision, based on a bill Donnelly helped introduce, would protect veterans from targeted predatory home loan practices by requiring lenders to demonstrate a material benefit to consumers when refinancing their mortgage.
- Supporting Lead Remediation: A Donnelly-authored provision would require HUD to report on its lead-based paint hazard prevention and abatement policies, best practices, and enforcement to better protect the health and safety of children. Another provision would allow existing Treasury Hardest Hit funds to be used for lead and asbestos remediation.