House Passes Financial Services and General Government Spending Bill

The House on Thursday passed a financial services and general government spending bill for fiscal year 2017 that would magnify scrutiny on some regulators and make funding cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lawmakers voted 239-185 to pass H.R. 5485 after considering 70 amendments. The White House last month threatened to veto the legislation, which now heads to the Senate.

The spending bill would cut $236 million in IRS funding from 2016 levels and $50 million from the SEC’s budget. It also would give Congress a firmer grip on regulators like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Lawmakers adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) that would prohibit the use of funds to classify nonbank firms as systemically important financial institutions. They also adopted one offered by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) that would bar funds from being used to implement, administer or enforce new regulatory actions of more than $100 million.

House members rejected an amendment from Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) that would slash the IRS commissioner’s salary to $0 until January 2017.

Democrats attempted, unsuccessfully, to strip some of the legislative language giving Congress more control over regulators.

An amendment offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) that would strike provisions limiting the CFPB’s rulemaking abilities on mandatory arbitration agreements failed 181-236, while one offered by Rep. Terri Sewell (Ala.) that aimed to remove language that bars the CFPB from enforcing payday and car title lending rules was rejected 182-240.

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