Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) has invited President Joe Biden to give his State of the Union address to a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, March 7, 2024. The invitation was immediately accepted by President Biden in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, in which the President stated “Looking forward to it, Mr. Speaker.” Notably, the State of the Union address is scheduled a month later than last year and follows two government shutdown deadlines of January 19, 2024 and February 2, 2024 and several states’ presidential primaries.
We expect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to issue its final rule on credit card late fees and proposed rules on overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees prior to the State of the Union address in March. As we previously blogged, the CFPB’s Fall 2023 rulemaking agenda indicated that the CFPB was expecting to release the final rule on credit card late fees and proposed rules on overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees in December 2023. In testimony to Congress, however, Director Chopra subsequently stated that the final rule on credit card late fees would be issued in January 2024. We remain hopeful that U.S. Small Business Administration’s comment letter and the more than 225 public comments submitted to the CFPB on its credit card late fees proposal will prompt the CFPB to conduct further analysis and consider amendments to the proposed rule. It is a virtual certainty that if the CFPB’s final rule on credit card late fees is adopted as proposed, it will face a legal challenge.
Earlier this month, financial trade groups wrote to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra to express their concerns that a CFPB rulemaking on NSF and overdraft fees would trigger the statutorily required Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review as the rulemaking would have a significant economic impact on banks and credits unions with assets of $850 million or less. The Consumer Bankers Association also announced the launch of a new microsite, overdraftfacts.com, to demonstrate the value overdraft services provide to consumers, highlight bank-driven overdraft and NSF innovations and reforms that have significantly reduced consumer costs, and serve as a resource for policymakers. In late December, the CFPB issued another overdraft and NSF fee report, Overdraft and Nonsufficient Fund Fees: Insights from the Making Ends Meet Survey and Consumer Credit Panel, which appeared to be an attempt to bolster its planned overdraft and NSF fee rulemaking. Like its credit card late fees proposed rule, the CFPB can likely expect any proposed rules on overdraft and NSF fees to generate many comments.