In this report, we build on our earlier assessment of key leadership changes (see Client Report 2013) to forecast key financial-policy issues set for Congressional consideration early in the new year. With the 113th Congress only just now sworn in, key committees have yet to take shape and the leadership – exhausted from the fiscal-cliff bounce-along – has yet to focus on 2013. However, FedFin has surveyed the landscape of pending issues and leadership views to provide this priority list of issues that will guide regulatory action in the next few months even if, as we expect, few if any specific statutory changes are actually signed into law. First up is a battle over whether Dodd-Frank in fact ended too big to fail, as this is one issue House Republicans want to address not only for policy, but also fiscal, reasons. We also expect additional Hill action on Basel, Volcker, extraterritoriality and – a top retail-banking priority – prepaid cards. We will focus on Congressional action on housing-finance reform in a separate report, as we think this is one area where actual change is far more likely than many forecasts now suggest. However, we look in this report at what Congress may do on two near-term rules: the CFPB’s forthcoming standards for qualified mortgages and long-pending risk-retention requirements.

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