The House Financial Services Committee voted unanimously today to approve the Committee’s oversight plan for the 114th Congress.

The plan provides that the Committee intends to continue its close examination of the implementation of Dodd-Frank by the financial regulators.  With regard to the CFPB in particular, the Committee intends to oversee the CFPB’s regulatory, supervisory, enforcement and other activities, the effect of such activities on regulated entities and consumers, and the CFPB’s collaboration with other regulators.  The Committee also intends to examine the CFPB’s governance structure and funding.

Specific issues on which the Committee intends to focus include:

  • Mortgages: the Committee plans to closely review the rulemaking by the CFPB and other agencies and monitor the coordination and implementation of such rules and their impact on the cost and availability of credit
  • Credit scores and credit reports: the Committee plans to monitor related issues
  • Access to financial services: the Committee plans to examine ways to expand access to mainstream financial products among traditionally underserved segments of the U.S. population
  • Operation Choke Point“: the Committee plans to conduct oversight of the Justice Department, financial regulators and other agencies relating to this initiative
  • Discrimination in lending: the Committee plans to examine the effectiveness of regulators’ fair lending oversight and enforcement efforts
  • Diversity in financial services: the Committee plans to continue to monitor federal regulators’ efforts to implement Dodd-Frank diversity requirements
  • Improper disclosure of personally identifiable information: the Committee plans to evaluate best practices for protecting the security and confidentiality of such information and examine how data breaches are disclosed to consumers
  • Payment systems innovations/mobile payments: the Committee plans to review government and private sector efforts to achieve greater innovations and efficiencies in the payments systems
  • Payment cards: the Committee plans to monitor payment card industry practices

In carrying out the Committee’s plans, its chairperson, currently Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling, will be able to use his new authority to issue subpoenas.  According to a Politico report, the Committee voted 31-21 last week to amend its rules to give the chairperson unilateral authority to issue subpoenas without the need for a vote from other Committee members.  A further amendment provides that the chairperson will give the ranking member written notice  at least 48 hours in advance of authorizing and issuing a subpoena, except when “exigent circumstances” exist.

Other rules changes include shorter opening statements at hearings and the option for both parties to give certain Committee members additional time to question hearing witnesses beyond a five-minute limit.