Monday, March 13, 2017

Obama Administration Regulations Face Uncertain Future

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PNN: Obama Era Regs

The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have made rolling back many of the rules and regulations issued during the Obama Administration one of their primary goals. Several of the regulations in question are payroll related, including raising the salary threshold for the ”white collar” exemption and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules for prepaid accounts. Whether through new legislation, executive order, or, in the case of the white collar regulations, court action, each of these regulations faces an uncertain future.

White Collar Regulations
On November 22, 2016, a federal judge issued an order preventing the increase in the white collar exemption salary levels, which was scheduled to begin on December 1, 2016, from going into effect. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed the injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals before President Trump was inaugurated. On February 17, 2017, the DOJ requested an extension from March 2 until May 1 to file its reply brief. The delay was requested “to allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.” If the request is granted, a decision by the appeals court is not likely until sometime this summer. Even if the court upholds the regulations, the strong political opposition from both the President and Congressional Republicans could result in additional measures to block their implementation.

CFPB Prepaid Account Regulations
On October 4, the CFPB announced it had issued its final rules on prepaid accounts. Generally, the rules are set to take effect on October 1. However, Congress has taken the first step to block these regulations. Three joint resolutions – S.J. Res. 19, H.J. Res. 62, and H.J. Res. 73 – have been introduced indicating that Congress disapproves of the CFPB’s prepaid card rule. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has 60 legislative days from the date that agency regulations are finalized to pass a resolution of disapproval. If one of the joint resolutions is passed and then signed by President Trump, the CFPB’s rules would be nullified.

Check back with Pay News Now as we continue to monitor developments with these regulations under the new White House administration.