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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
2/27/2014--Passed House amended. Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act - (Sec. 2) Amends the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to establish, in lieu of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent Financial Product Safety Commission to regulate the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under federal consumer financial laws.
Replaces the position of Director of the CFPB with a Commission composed of the Vice Chairman for Supervision of the Federal Reserve System and four additional members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, each to serve for a term of five years.
Prohibits the Chair of the Commission from making requests for estimates related to appropriations without the Commission's prior approval.
Repeals requirements for funding the CFPB, including the Consumer Financial Protection Fund.
Subjects the Commission to the congressional appropriations process. Authorizes appropriations for $300 million for each of FY2014 and FY2015. Repeals the requirement that at least six members of the Consumer Advisory Board be appointed on a rotating basis upon the recommendation of the regional Federal Reserve Bank Presidents. Makes technical and conforming amendments to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Expedited Funds Availability Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act of 1978.
(Sec. 3) Requires the rates of basic pay for all Commission employees to be set and adjusted in accordance with the General Schedule.
(Sec. 4) Amends Dodd-Frank to require the Commission and its contractors to obtain a consumer's permission before requesting, obtaining, accessing, collecting, using, retaining, or disclosing pertinent nonpublic personal information.
(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Chairperson of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to issue a stay of, or set aside, any regulation issued by the Commission (currently, by the CFPB) upon the affirmative vote of the majority of FSOC members (currently, two-thirds), excluding the Commission Chair.
Requires the FSOC, upon the petition of one of its member agencies, to set aside a final regulation prescribed by the Commission (currently, by the CFPB) if the FSOC decides that such regulation is inconsistent with the safe and sound operations of U.S. financial institutions. (Currently the FSOC is merely authorized, upon petition, to set aside a final CFPB regulation if it would put the safety and soundness of the U.S. banking system or the stability of the U.S. financial system at risk.)
Repeals: (1) the prohibition against FSOC set-aside of a regulation after expiration of a specified time period, and (2) mandatory dismissal of a petition if the FSOC has not issued a decision within such time period.
Requires the Commission Chair, when prescribing a rule under federal consumer financial laws, to consider its impact upon the financial safety or soundness of an insured depository institution.
(Sec. 6) Requires the Commission, whenever it proposes a new rule or regulation, to report to the FSOC and make publicly available: (1) an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that includes the financial impact of the proposed rule or regulation upon covered persons, regardless of size; and (2) an analysis of whether the proposed rule or regulation will impair the ability of individuals and small businesses to have access to credit.
(Sec. 7) Repeals the exclusive rulemaking authority of the CFPB (or, now, the Commission) with respect to federal consumer financial law.