October 23, 2019

In This Issue:

  • Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen Won't Seek Reelection
  • Supreme Court Will Hear Constitutional Challenge to Structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Early Voting in Texas’ Constitutional Amendment Election Started Monday; Here’s What Voters Will Decide
  • TDI Job Opening: Title Insurance Specialist
  • Calabria Says He’s Willing to Wipe Out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Shareholders

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen Won't Seek Reelection

TLTA | Oct. 23, 2019
Last week's Dateline included an article regarding a controversy surrounding the Speaker of the Texas House. This week, the situation developed further when the Speaker announced he will not seek reelection to his House seat.
 
Here's Speaker Bonnen's statement:
 
"Since Friday, I have had numerous conversations with Members who care deeply about the Texas House, and I respect the manner in which they have handled this entire situation. After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration with my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as State Representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House. I care deeply about this body and the work we have accomplished over the years, namely, the outstanding success we achieved in the 86th Legislature. My below colleagues have made clear that it is in the best interest of both myself and the House to move on, and I thank them for the respectful and thoughtful way in which they have convinced me to do so."
 
Speaker Bonnen's term expires at the beginning of 2021, and he continues to serve as Speaker of the Texas House at this point. 
 
Many factors will impact selection of the next Speaker of the Texas House, including election outcomes in Nov. 2020.
 


Supreme Court Will Hear Constitutional Challenge to Structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Ariane de Vogue - CNN | Oct. 18, 2019
The Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up a case this term that could significantly weaken the structure and independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government watchdog agency that was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren and opened its doors in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis during the Obama administration to oversee financial institutions, monitor markets and protect consumers from financial fraud.

The law that established the CFPB says the President may not remove the director except for "inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office."

But critics—including the Trump administration, current director Kathleen Kraninger, as well as a law firm fighting a CFPB-led investigation—argue in court briefs that a restriction on the President's authority to remove the director at will, including over policy disagreements, "violates the Constitution's separation of powers."

In a move that could prove critical, the court also said it will entertain the question of whether the provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that created the bureau should also be struck.
 
Read More »


Early Voting in Texas’ Constitutional Amendment Election Started Monday; Here’s What Voters Will Decide

Davis Rich - Texas Tribune | Oct. 15, 2019
Texas voters are about to weigh in on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution, which deal with everything from retiring law enforcement animals to the state's tax code. Voters in three state House districts will also participate in special elections to fill empty seats.

Early voting began Monday, Oct. 21 and runs through Nov. 1. Election Day is Nov. 5.
During this year's legislative session, lawmakers passed several bills that require amendments to the Texas Constitution. A majority of Texas voters must vote to support any change to the state constitution in a statewide referendum. In 2017, all seven constitutional amendments on the ballot passed.

Below are the 10 amendments on the ballot next month. More analysis on each proposition, from the House Research Organization, is available here. And the League of Women Voters guide is here.
 
Read More »
Where and When to Vote at VoteTexas.Gov »
 

TDI Job Opening: Title Insurance Specialist

TLTA | Oct. 1, 2019
The Texas Department of Insurance has a job opening that might interest you or someone in your professional network. The agency is hiring a "Title Industry Specialist" with meaningful title insurance experience. 
 
Read TDI's Posting and Apply »
 
If you have questions, please contact TDI's David Muckerheide
 

Calabria Says He’s Willing to Wipe Out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Shareholders

Kathleen Howley - HousingWire | Oct. 22, 2019
Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said he’s willing to wipe out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders if needed to protect taxpayers from another bailout.

“I’m working for the taxpayers,” Calabria said during testimony Tuesday to the House Financial Services Committee. “If the circumstances present themselves where we have to wipe out the shareholders, we will.”

The FHFA director was responding to a question from Rep. Bill Foster, D-IL, who responded to Calabria’s pledge by saying: “I look forward to that.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back about half of the nation’s mortgages.

Calabria added he believes shareholders should have lost their stakes in the private companies in 2008 when the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, were taken over during the mortgage meltdown.

Instead, they were put into conservatorship – not receivership, which would have been a clearer legal situation – and the government received new senior preferred stock and common stock warrants amounting to 79.9% of the companies.

Read More »
 

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