WASHINGTON The House and Senate banking panels have a packed schedule this week, returning from a weeklong holiday recess with hearings on the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that could produce some fireworks.
The House Financial Services Committee's financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee kicks off Tuesday morning with a hearing on the CFPB's data gathering practices, an ongoing concern for Republicans in both chambers. The only witness scheduled is Steven Antonakes, the agency's acting deputy director. The House banking panel has refused to invite Richard Cordray, the agency's director, to testify this year, arguing that he's not legally appointed because of a court decision invalidating some recess appointments President Obama made the same day he named Cordray to the position.
On Tuesday afternoon, the House banking panel's oversight and investigations subcommittee will examine the "constitutional deficiencies and legal uncertainties" in the Dodd-Frank law with several attorneys.
House lawmakers on Wednesday will discuss ways to bolster capital formation with several industry groups, including the National Venture Capital Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, at a hearing before the banking panel's capital markets and government-sponsored enterprises subcommittee.
The CFPB, meanwhile, will hold a field hearing Wednesday on debt collectors in Portland, Maine. Regulators have been ratcheting up their scrutiny of the industry in recent months for both banks and nonbanks, and some have suggested that Cordray may announce that the CFPB has started accepting consumer complaints about debt collection at the hearing. The event will also feature comments by industry groups, consumer associations and members of the public.
On Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold its own hearing on the Dodd-Frank law, just days ahead of the law's three-year anniversary. Witnesses include Mary Miller, the undersecretary for domestic finance at the Treasury Department, Daniel Tarullo, a Federal Reserve Board governor, Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency. The hearing is likely to feature a range of topics, including the Financial Stability Oversight Council's recent designation of three nonbanks as systemically important and ongoing concerns about whether some institutions are "too big to fail."