If acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney ultimately prevails in the lawsuit challenging his position, he is expected to continue implementing the most significant changes to the agency in its six-year history.
A regulatory relief package is likely to come out of the Senate in the new year, and lawmakers could follow it up with a housing finance reform push. But the midterm elections could cause some reform initiatives to grind to a halt.
The House Financial Services Committee passed 13 bills (and scrapped a vote on one) Wednesday, including one that would stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from being released by the government and another hailed as helping the underbanked in rural areas.
A bipartisan Senate alliance working on a bank regulatory relief bill appeared even stronger Tuesday as it worked to minimize changes in the interest of moving the legislative package to the Senate floor.
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.
Employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are privately questioning why outgoing director Richard Cordray abruptly tapped a 34-year-old chief of staff with no enforcement, supervisory or legal experience to head the embattled agency after he resigned.
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.
During the past year, many have hoped for action from Washington that would alleviate regulatory burden and stem the rapid pace of consolidation. But in the current political environment, that appears increasingly unlikely.
Trump officials have made clear their intent to reexamine how Federal Housing Administration lenders are cited under the False Claims Act, but whether that means lenders can rest easier is an open question.