House committee to examine credit bureau reforms this month

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WASHINGTON — House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is putting a spotlight on the credit reporting agencies as she has set the panel’s hearing schedule for February.

A hearing titled “Who’s Keeping Score? Holding Credit Bureaus Accountable and Repairing a Broken System” has been scheduled Feb. 26. It is one of seven hearings Waters announced for the month as she moves forward with the new Democratic majority’s financial services agenda.

The committee will hold four hearings next week. On Tuesday, the full committee will examine the use of sanctions in addressing national security and foreign policy challenges. On Wednesday, the full committee will convene a hearing on the homelessness crisis.

Also on Wednesday, the newly renamed Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions subcommittee, now chaired by Rep. Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., will hold a hearing to discuss the issue of access to banking services for cannabis-related businesses. It’s the first time the committee will address marijuana banking, as the industry has pushed for more clarity on whether they can service cannabis businesses in states where the substance is legal.

The Housing, Community Development, and Insurance subcommittee, now led by Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., will hold a hearing focused on affordable housing next Thursday. That hearing comes after reports that the Trump administration is planning a path to reform of the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, released his own outline for housing finance reform.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is also scheduled to give his semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins monetary policy address Feb. 27 to the House committee. Powell’s testimony comes as President Trump has been critical of the Fed’s interest rate decisions and as the regulator works to implement the new regulatory relief bill that was signed into law in May.

The new diversity and inclusion subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, will hold its first hearing Feb. 27, on diversity trends in the financial services industry.

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