CHOICE Act and the CFPB are Number One Priority
Provisions of the CHOICE Act that reign in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau remains the #1 Priority of the manufactured housing industry
House Republicans last Thursday passed sweeping legislation, the CHOICE Act, to replace the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Now, the strategizing has begun in earnest to figure out which provisions could actually become law, and Republicans cited one consensus as their top goal: overhauling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (CFPB). That is a goal for which there is significant GOP support in the Senate as well as the White House, according to a survey by the Washington Examiner.
The CHOICE Act and the CFPB
“Reforming the CFPB would go further than anything else in there,” said Barry Loudermilk of Georgia, a member of the Financial Services Committee.
Choice Act Clearing the Senate May Elicit GOP “Nuclear Option”
The manufacturing housing industry remains passionate about reining in the restraints placed upon the sales and financing of manufactured homes by the CFPB, which has and continues to inhibit the opportunity for millions of hardworking Americans. Inhibiting today’s lower-to-middle income families from realizing the uniquely American dream of homeownership. Which ironically, is the very definition of manufactured housing!
Rep. Steven Pearce, who represents the southern part of New Mexico, said the bureau’s rules on mortgages have crimped lending for manufactured housing, which makes up half of the homes in his district. “CFPB reform would start opening up those lines of credit,” he says.
1.) THE GOP is passionate about dismantling the CFPB. Conversely, the CFPB part of Dodd-Frank is the law most often touted by Democrats.
2.) The CHOICE Act would not abolish the CFPB, as some in the GOP caucus want, but instead, take several steps to rein it in.
Any of the reforms will be tough to get through the Senate where Sen. Mike Crapo, the chairman of the Banking Committee, must find eight Democratic “yes” votes to avoid a filibuster.
If Senate Democrats cannot be moved, which is the likely scenario, the Republicans could seek to make changes to the CFPB through the budget process known as reconciliation, a parliamentary procedure known to many as the “nuclear option.” Through reconciliation, legislation can clear the Senate with only 51 votes. However, there are difficulties with the idea of defunding or changing the agency through reconciliation because the procedure imposes certain restrictions on legislation that can be passed.
Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Has Multi-Pronged Strategy
Spearheaded by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the critical inclusion of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 1699), within the Financial CHOICE Act (HR 10), was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 233 to 186. Passed along partisan lines, this legislation represents a rather comprehensive strategy.
MHI’s efforts to pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act are multi-pronged. In addition to spearheading stand-alone legislation, MHI has sought opportunities to attach the language to legislative vehicles that are moving, such as HR 10. MHI’s goal is to ensure the needed changes contained in the bill to make financing available for manufactured housing are passed into law as soon as possible.
The number of successful votes in Congress on this provision and inclusion of the language in the Financial CHOICE Act are the result of MHI’s persistent efforts.