Vote Explanations for H.R. 1675 — Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015 and H.R. 766 — Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015
H.R. 1675 — Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015
In the wake of the Great Recession, strong oversight of our financial markets and institutions is vital to protecting American consumers and families. I support bipartisan efforts to improve and enhance government protections, and oppose measures that add unnecessary government bureaucracy to American businesses and families. H.R. 1675, the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015 is a package of five individual bipartisan bills that together, would streamline regulatory processes and provide effective oversight of capital markets.
However, since 2011, virtually every single public company has reported their financial statements to the SEC using computer readable format, known as XBRL. This searchable data allows the investor community to access information more easily and without the burden of paper filings. My major concern with this legislation is that it would grant an exemption for over 60% of public companies from using XBRL in their SEC filings. This exemption would prevent companies from being easily compared to other companies that use XBRL. This creates a disadvantage for analysts, researchers, the SEC, investors, and other companies. Despite a bipartisan effort to address this issue through an amendment, it’s failure to pass is the reason why I voted against the overall legislation.
H.R. 766 — Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015
This legislation would undermine the Department of Justice’s ability to pursue crimes committed by the largest banks in the nation. The bill would essentially gut the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which was passed by Congress shortly after the 2008 financial crisis to address and deter financial fraud committed against American consumers. The tools provided to the Department of Justice under FIRREA have led to historic settlements against the the big banks — Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Citibank — worth billions of dollars.
No law is perfect, but the reforms proposed in this legislation go too far and, most importantly, undermine efforts to hold big banks accountable. I voted against this legislation, which passed the House 250–169.