Cleveland.com | Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to use ‘Congressional Review Act’ to overturn Trump-era financial rules

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Cleveland.com | Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to use ‘Congressional Review Act’ to overturn Trump-era financial rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Now that former President Donald Trump is out of office, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is using his chairmanship of the U.S. Senate committee that oversees the banking system to overturn regulations the Trump administration passed in its waning days that he views as anti-consumer.

On Thursday, Brown joined a Democratic colleague on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, to introduce legislation to repeal the so-called “True Lender Rule” Trump’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized in the administration’s final months. The pair say the Trump administration rule lets predatory lenders skirt state laws that curb interest rates on loans and allows them to prey on vulnerable consumers.

Brown also introduced a resolution to overturn procedures the Securities and Exchange Commission finalized late last year that affect how shareholders can present proposals at corporate meetings. Under the regulation Brown is fighting, shareholders who introduce resolutions at corporate meetings must own a larger share of company stock for a longer time period than was previously needed.

Brown is using a 1996 law called the “Congressional Review Act” for both efforts. It allows a new Congress to repeal federal agency rules that were passed during the last 60 working days of the previous Congress. According to the Congressional Research Service, it has been used to overturn 17 rules. Sixteen of them were Obama administration rules that Republicans who controlled Congress and the White House in 2017 nixed after Trump took office. The rules Republicans overturned included a stream protection measure and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules on auto lending and arbitration.

Congressional Review Act measures must pass both chambers of Congress with a simple majority. After that, the president must sign them. Because presidents aren’t likely to sign resolutions that overturn rules issued by their own administrations, the process is most likely to be used after elections where the incumbent or the incumbent’s party loses and both chambers in Congress are aligned with the incoming president.

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