A bill aimed at altering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure and limiting its powers to regulate the consumer finance industry gained approval from the House of Representatives on Thursday but is unlikely to pass muster in the Senate.
HR 3193 calls for replacing the CFPB Director position with a five-member bipartisan commission, much like the Federal Trade Commission's makeup. It also seeks to fund the agency through Congressional appropriations rather than through the Federal Reserve.
The final vote of 232-182 had all House Republicans in favor and just 10 Democrats voting along with the Republicans. In the Senate, majority leaders have said the bill will not be considered. President Obama has indicated he's willing to veto any such legislation should it somehow make it through the Senate.
The bill further calls for the CFPBs regulations to be subject to a simple majority vote in the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a 10-member panel created by the Dodd-Frank Act to review systemic risk in the financial industry. The Council currently can override any CFPB rule with a two-thirds majority.
The bill gets specific with funding, providing the CFPB with a budget of $300 million annually for the next two years, about 60 percent of the budget set for Fiscal Year 2014. The Republican House committee staff told the Washington Post that the goal is not to zero out the Bureaus budget, but spending levels in the future would be decided later. For now, after two years, the bill sets no funding for the CFPB.
Opponents of the CFPB believe is too powerful and unaccountable to Congress.