Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era rule about how banking laws apply to certain loans

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and U.S. Representative Jesus Garcia (D-Ill.) introduced companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in October 2020. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2020, aims to clarify when banks are the true lender in situations where banks provide the money for third-party organizations to extend credit to borrowers. 

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the OCC rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The OCC rule went into effect on December 29, 2020. A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after August 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.

The U.S. Senate version of the resolution has the following 6 cosponsors: Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) 

The U.S. House version of the resolution has no cosponsors. 

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

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Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/15/text?r=2&s=5

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/35?s=5&r=2

Text of the OCC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/30/2020-24134/national-banks-and-federal-savings-associations-as-lenders

Link to Van Hollen’s press release:

https://www.vanhollen.senate.gov/news/press-releases/van-hollen-brown-garcia-announce-congressional-review-act-legislation-to-repeal-trump-era-rent-a-bank-rule

Link to Garcia’s press release:

https://chuygarcia.house.gov/media/press-releases/representative-garc-senators-van-hollen-brown-announce-congressional-review-act

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf




About the author

Jace Lington

Jace Lington is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.