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Omnibus spending bill keeps CFPB intact

Congress unveiled its omnibus spending bill late March 21, which abandoned President Donald Trump's dramatic wishlist for a reformed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The spending bill, which congressional leaders hope to pass before the government shutdown deadline on March 23, instead requires the CFPB to notify Congress of any transfer of funds from the Federal Reserve on the date of the request. Trump's budget had suggested restricting the agency's "broad enforcement authority over Federal consumer law" and restructuring it over the period of two years.

Trump's budget had also suggested capping transfers to the CFPB from the Federal Reserve, which funds the agency. The White House also advocated for subjecting both the Office of Financial Research and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to Congressional appropriations.

None of those provisions were adopted in the final bill, which was negotiated by lawmakers in the hopes of whipping enough support before the March 23 deadline.

Like the spending bill for 2017, the omnibus bill does require the Office of Management and Budget to submit a report to the U.S. House and Senate on the costs of implementing the post-crisis Dodd-Frank financial regulatory framework. The OMB is headed by CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

At the Securities and Exchange Commission, the bill proposes increasing the agency's budget on information technology by $45 million, the amount the agency requested. The agency hopes to use the money on enhancements that would bolster enforcement and examination, analysis, and cybersecurity functions. The SEC would also be appropriated $244.5 million to relocate the agency's headquarters.

At the Treasury, the appropriations bill would not eliminate funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, as the Trump budget suggested. The bill also maintains funding for the community development block grant program.