MReport March 2017

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58 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T GOVERNMENT With Dodd-Frank on the Chopping Block, Hensarling Touts His CHOICE Act Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas offers his CHOICE Act as an alternative to Dodd Frank, but Democrats staunchly oppose it. R ep. Jeb Hensarling, R- Texas, who was recently elected to a third term as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, appeared on two national radio talk shows to discuss H.R. 5983, a.k.a. the Financial CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and En - trepreneurs), which he introduced last June. In September, it passed through the Committee, largely along party lines. "I know it is a priority of President-elect Trump," Hensarling said on the Hugh Hewitt Show. "He has said he's committed to dismantling Dodd-Frank, and in the House Financial Services Committee we have a bill to allow him to do that. I don't think there's another bill out there today that does do that. So it is a priority of the administration, and conversations I've had at high levels of the administration, I know they're interested in using the reconciliation process." On Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Hensarling stated, "What's interesting is even Barney Frank has indicated he would change about a half a dozen fairly significant provisions of his own namesake law, but there are so many Democrats who view this as sacred text like it came down from the tablets on Mt. Sinai and it's kind of an ideological commitment, a class warfare thing, but mean - while the big banks are getting bigger, the small banks are getting fewer and the poor beleaguered middle income American is seeing his paycheck stagnant and his sav- ings decimated. It has failed." Among the provisions of the CHOICE Act are: allowing banks that remain strongly capitalized the option to be exempt from certain regulations; more than two dozen measures aimed at providing regu - latory relief for community banks and credit unions; and a proposal for a bipartisan, five-member com- mission to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Democrats have fought against any attempts by Republicans to roll back any part of Dodd-Frank, which the Obama administration considers to be one of its greatest triumphs. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California), Ranking Member of the House Financial Service Committee, has been one of the most vocal critics of the CHOICE Act, calling it the "wrong choice" for America. "In response to (the devastation of the 2008 crisis), the Dodd-Frank Act made sweeping changes to our financial regulatory system so that our economy would never again be threatened by special interests," Waters said. "Yet, here we are, pretending that the crisis never happened, and considering toxic legislation that takes us in exactly the wrong direction. Let us be clear about who would benefit from the Republicans' 'wrong choice': Wall Street and other special interests who have been fighting against financial reform since before it was enacted. The regulatory roll-backs in this bill know no bounds." Americans for Financial Reform said of the CHOICE Act, "The Financial CHOICE Act would be an unprecedented blow to effective oversight of the financial sector and to fairness for consumers, investors, members of the public, and busi - nesses. This is not a serious piece of legislation. It is, however, a sad reminder of the Financial Services Committee's apparent willingness, under its current leadership, to do Wall Street's bidding with breath - taking disregard for the costs to consumers and to the safety of the financial system as a whole." Fannie Mae Backs Up Blackstone For the first time a GSE is guaranteeing the debt of an institutional investor in the single-family rental market. A Fannie Mae spokes- person confirmed in January the country's largest owner of single- family rental homes recently won its backing. The GSE agreed to backstop up to $1 billion in debt from Blackstone Group's platform Invitation Homes, the first time a government spon - sored entity has agreed to guarantee the debt of an institutional owner of single-family houses. "This transaction is a great opportunity to continue to serve the growing single-family rental market," said Pete Bakel, Financial and Executive Communications spokesman for Fannie Mae. "Today, single-family homes account for more than 50 percent of the rental market, offering individuals and families access to good neighbor - hoods, schools, and employment centers. Invitation Homes is a strong partner with deep experi- ence managing a large volume of single-family rental properties. This transaction helps us gather data and test the market to ensure we are delivering the right solutions that meet the increasing demand for single-family rental housing across all demographics." Bakel said the collaboration with "Let us be clear about who would benefit from the Republicans' 'wrong choice': Wall Street and other special interests who have been fighting against financial reform since before it was enacted." —Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-California)

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