Rep. French Hill’s Bills
Here on TAP we’ve been looking at the bills sponsored by the Arkansas congressional delegation. Today, it’s time to examine some of the 17 bills sponsored by the man representing Arkansas’s Second Congressional District, Rep.
- HR 5636 – to expand the boundaries of the Flatside Wilderness on the Ouachita National Forest.
- HR 5459 – to increase penalties for distributing and selling fentanyl.
- HR 5078 – to modify federal rules so that title insurance premium disclosures can accurately reflect the amount being charged to consumers.
- HR 4790 – to allow banks with assets under $10 billion to use deposits to engage in trading to make money for the bank. The so-called “Volcker Rule” bans such proprietary trading for all banks, but this bill would allow smaller banks to engage in such trading. The bill would also give exclusive authority over enforcing the Volcker Rule to the Federal Reserve, rather than dividing that authority among a variety of federal agencies.
- HR 4562 – to exempt banks with assets under $50 billion from some international financial standards, and to exempt banks with assets under $1 billion from some federal internal control regulations.
- HR 4560 – to require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored financial institutions, to repay the Treasury before putting money into the Housing Trust Fund. In essence, this bill would require these two institutions to reduce their dependence on taxpayers.
- HR 1540 – to require a periodic review of some individuals receiving payments under Social Security Disability Insurance with the goal that some could return to work. It would also set up a new classification system so that those whose disability may improve over time would receive time-limited payments. It would also allow some beneficiaries to have adjusted payments that would encourage them to return to the workforce.
- HR 884 — to prohibit federal labor laws concerning the minimum wage or working hours to be applied to someone who volunteers at a children’s consignment sale.
- HR 799 – to establish a pilot program for historically black colleges and universities to provide programs that help people exiting jail re-integrate in their communities.
Many of the bills sponsored by Rep. Hill pertain to banking, which makes sense given his background in banking and his membership on the Financial Services Committee. These bills often seek to give smaller banks greater flexibility under federal rules. He deserves credit for this, considering that these rules are in place to prevent a “too big to fail” scenario like we saw during the financial crisis of 2008. Smaller banks do not pose a risk to bring down the financial system. They should be allowed greater leeway to run their business as they and their depositors see fit.
One bill, HR 5078, passed the House by a voice vote. That indicates that this legislation was viewed as a non-controversial proposal that had wide backing by members of both parties. Another bill, HR 4790, passed the House in amended form.
Tomorrow we’ll have an overview of what Rep.
Steve Womack has been doing in Congress.