Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, the Senate Banking Committee will debate and markup the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which Senator Joe Donnelly helped craft and introduce last month. The legislation would reduce regulatory burdens on community banks and credit unions as well as provide new protections to consumers.
Donnelly, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said in advance of the markup, “This bipartisan legislation would provide regulatory relief to community banks and credit unions across Indiana that were unintentionally burdened by rules intended to keep Wall Street accountable. I was proud to help craft this legislation, because it would make it easier for families to obtain mortgages and for small businesses to access capital and create new jobs, while expanding consumer protections in the wake of the Equifax data breach.”
The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act has broad support from organizations in Indiana and across the country:
- Indiana Chamber of Commerce,
- Indiana Credit Union League,
- Indiana Bankers Association,
- Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association,
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
- Credit Union National Association,
- National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions,
- Independent Community Bankers of America,
- American Bankers Association,
- Mortgage Bankers Association,
- Consumer Bankers Association,
- National Association of Home Builders, and
- Bipartisan Policy Center.
The legislative package has also received supportive comments from respected experts such as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell, and FDIC Vice Chair Tom Hoenig, among others.
Among provisions in the regulatory relief package are several Donnelly-led and Donnelly-supported measures that would benefit Hoosiers:
- Community Banks and Credit Unions: This package includes a number of provisions related to community banks and credit unions that would increase their ability to extend credit to Hoosier small businesses and families, while maintaining important consumer protections. This proposal would allow small financial institutions to focus on traditional banking to help more families obtain the mortgage that buys their first home or the loan that starts a small business.
- Free Annual Credit Freezes: Consumers would be able to freeze and unfreeze their credit in a timely manner, free of charge, and set year-long fraud alerts. Consumers would also gain control of who gets access to their credit reports. The Federal Trade Commission and the major credit bureaus would be required to set up webpages where consumers could easily freeze their credit, set a fraud alert, and opt-out of pre-approved credit offers. Donnelly suggested this idea to protect consumers after the massive Equifax data breach that may have compromised the personal information of approximately 145 million Americans.
- Protecting Veterans Credit: This provision based off of Donnelly’s bipartisan Protecting Veterans Credit Act would protect the credit ratings of veterans wrongly penalized by medical bill payment delays by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This measure would prohibit medical debt from services received through the Choice Program and other VA community care programs from being reported to credit reporting agencies for one year. In addition it would establish a dispute process for veterans seeking to remove adverse actions already on their reports.
- Manufactured Housing: This includes a provision based on Donnelly’s bipartisan Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which would protect the ability of manufactured home customers to purchase affordable homes, while maintaining important consumer protections.