The ill will between Democrats and Republicans in the controversy over appointing an acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief adds a new wrinkle to bipartisan efforts to pass regulatory relief.
Brian Montgomery seems on his way to being confirmed to lead the Federal Housing Administration. But once he gets there, he may find it difficult to be as innovative as he was during his first stint as commissioner — particularly when it comes to reducing FHA premiums.
The Senate Banking Committee voted to advance the nomination of Brian Montgomery to serve as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, despite ongoing criticism from some Democrats that he is too close to the financial services industry.
The regulatory relief bill would raise the SIFI threshold to $250 billion of assets and allow mortgages held in portfolio to be counted as "qualified," among other items, but it is far less sweeping than institutions had hoped.
Sen. Bob Corker has been a key voice in the housing finance reform debate. His departure at the end of next year puts a deadline of sorts on his efforts to unwind and replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Democrats have strived to paint recent scandals at Wells Fargo and Equifax as prime examples of why a regulatory rule banning mandatory arbitration agreements should be upheld, but Republicans are not wavering in their campaign to overturn it.
Lawmakers like Sen. Tim Scott may feel differently about some elements in a Senate regulatory relief bill depending on whether CFPB Director Cordray is remaining in office until his term expires in July.