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New Legislation Would Turn Back the Clock on MMF Regulation

A host of political and procedural hurdles may have slowed the momentum for across-the-board rollbacks in Obama-era nancial regulations that were promised early in the Trump administration. Nonetheless, some money-market-fund industry observers hope the momentum will be regained at least enough to help push through bipartisan legislation introduced recently both in the U.S. Senate and in the House of Representatives that would rescind the VNAV requirement for institutional prime and tax-exempt municipal money funds.

Senate bill S.1117 – the “Consumer Financial Choice and Capital Markets Protection Act of 2017” – sponsored by Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and co-sponsored by colleagues Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and the nearly identical House version, H.R. 2319, sponsored by Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.) and co-sponsored by Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), are intended “to help municipalities, schools, and hospitals once again access low-cost capital for publicly-bene cial investments,” their sponsors contend. Both mirror legislation introduced in the prior congressional session, although only the House bill was given a formal committee hear- ing at the time and was tabled thereafter.

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