July 09, 2020

OCC's New Community Reinvestment Act Regulation Faces Congressional Review Act Hitch

2 min

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act resolution disapproving the OCC's recent final rule (the Final Rule) modernizing its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations by a vote of 230-179. The OCC issued the Final Rule alone after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) declined to participate. The FDIC and OCC participated in the initial joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR), while the FRB refrained from participation in either issuance. Since the Final Rule was issued by the OCC alone, it applies only to national banks, federal savings associations, insured federal branches, and certain uninsured federal branches.

We wrote last month that the unusual circumstances surrounding the rulemaking would make the Final Rule more susceptible to challenges in court. We also noted that a joint resolution to rescind the Final Rule pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which provides Congress with the power to pass a resolution disapproving a regulatory rule within 60 legislative days of Congress receiving the rule, was introduced on June 11, 2020 by Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, Gregory Meeks. Chairwoman Waters expressed concern that the Final Rule would "harm low-income and minority communities that are disproportionately suffering during this crisis, effectively turning the Community Reinvestment Act into the Community Disinvestment Act." Chairwoman Waters also commented on the timing of the rule's finalization immediately prior to the departure of the previous OCC Comptroller.

The resolution passed the House on June 29, 2020. However, even if it passes the Republican controlled Senate, the White House has issued a Statement of Administrative Policy indicating the resolution will be vetoed by the President.

We will continue to provide updates.