WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled a Republican agenda Tuesday that aims to jump-start the economy and proposes a number of financial reforms, including revamping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and limiting bank regulations.
The "Better Way" agenda is the culmination of committee-led task forces that focused on reducing regulatory burdens and restoring constitutional authority. It also includes a framework for a Dodd-Frank alternative that House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, previewed last week.
The plan released by Ryan would restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to a five-member commission and put it under congressional appropriations. The plan would also require regulators to do a cost-benefit analysis when writing rules and require Congress to approve all rules that are estimated to cost the economy more than $100 million a year.
The bill would automatically give mortgages held on portfolio "Qualified Mortgage" status and remove the $50 billion threshold for systemically important financial institutions, replacing it with a multifactor test.
Also, as with Hensarling's Financial CHOICE Act, banks that choose to hold more capital could opt for a separate regulatory regime that would subject them to fewer rules.
The plan is also supportive of financial technology startups and staving off regulators' increasing interest in the overseeing the industry.
Additionally, the plan says that Republicans would "wind down the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," but does not say what it would replace them with.