WASHINGTON -- Auto dealers got one step closer to a complete exemption from oversight by a new consumer finance agency being created under a financial-regulation bill.
House negotiators voted to oppose a Senate proposal to give the new agency authority to write some rules that affect dealers, said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the top House negotiator.
The Senate plan put forth by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., would allow the agency to write rules for dealers that involve credit discrimination, credit disclosure, financial privacy and credit-report accuracy, NADA said.
The differences between House and Senate negotiators on this issue are due to be addressed later today when they vote on a joint bill to send to the full House and Senate.
“It's time for us to concede that the votes are not there,” said Frank, who has opposed the dealer exemption.
Both the Senate and House proposals would exempt dealers from supervision and enforcement by a new consumer finance agency lodged in the Federal Reserve — in defiance of a request by President Barack Obama to avoid special exclusions.
Both proposals also would exempt dealers from some rule-writing by the new agency, though the Senate version would allow other kinds of rules to be crafted by the new bureau.
On a related issue, the National Automobile Dealers Association appears to have suffered a minor setback in conference.
The Federal Trade Commission, which now oversees dealers, would be able to write rules without undergoing certain reviews under both the Senate and House proposals.
These reviews, which rules proposed by other federal agencies don't have to undergo, can take as long as eight years, House negotiators said.
Dealers “who are not reputable and are engaging in unsavory practices to the disadvantage of consumers ought to have a process in place where they can be addressed immediately,” said Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C.