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OCC People: Five Minutes with Carrie Moore
Carrie Moore is the Director for Congressional Liaison.
Tell us about the Congressional Liaison Office and its responsibilities.
Director for Congressional Liaison Carrie Moore.
The Congressional Liaison Office has six employees. Many of us started our careers working as staffers to members of Congress, and all of us are very well versed in the intricacies of the legislative process. Our activities can generally be boiled down into three categories. First, we proactively represent the OCC to members of Congress and their staffs to make them aware of the good work that the OCC does every day to keep the national bank and federal thrift system safe and sound. Second, we make sure that OCC leadership is informed about issues under consideration on Capitol Hill so that we can be aware of opportunities to educate lawmakers on the potential impacts of their proposals or provide assistance as they fine-tune their ideas. Third, we respond to all manner of congressional requests by providing briefings on issues of interest such as the status of major rules, our enforcement authorities, or more generally how we examine banks. We work with OCC subject matter experts to draft testimony and spend hours preparing our witnesses for the difficult questions they might be asked. We also work with other OCC units to provide assistance as staff draft and consider legislative proposals.
What Congressional committees does your office work with?
We work mainly with the House Financial Services and the Senate Banking Committees, the two congressional committees with primary oversight of the financial system and the banking regulatory agencies. Most legislative proposals that affect OCC activities are first considered by these committees, so we stay in frequent touch with their members and staff. We also track issues considered by other committees, so we develop relationships with a significant number of House and Senate members and their staffs. For example, we work with the House and Senate Agriculture Committees on derivatives matters. During this session of Congress, we have been working with the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on the independent foreclosure review (IFR) and with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs on cybersecurity issues. We have recently been in touch with the Senate Select Committee on Aging regarding their efforts to learn about issues of interest to seniors, such as protections on prepaid cards and our deposit advance product guidance.
What issues is Congress considering this year that are of interest to the OCC?
Congress continues to be very interested in the status of the regulations being developed in compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act. One area of focus has been the potential regulatory burden imposed on community banks as a result of the act’s requirements. Congress also is interested in the ability of the act’s provisions to better protect the financial system as a whole and how the federal banking agencies are working with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. The House and Senate oversight committees are placing a high priority on housing finance reform and exploring legislation to address the perception that large banks remain too big to fail. Congress is also working to address cybersecurity issues, so we are working to educate lawmakers on how we supervise banks to ensure compliance with appropriate cyber controls and protections.
Do you coordinate your activities with other congressional affairs offices?
Absolutely! We are always interested in joining our colleagues from other regulatory agencies to coordinate our messages on Capitol Hill, as appropriate. Last year we teamed up with other agencies to inform lawmakers about the potential impact that a legislative proposal to impose additional cost benefit analysis requirements on agencies’ rulemaking processes would have on our ability to effectively and efficiently promulgate regulations. We regularly coordinate with our federal banking agency peers on issues of interest to Congress, including private student lending, joint enforcement actions, cybersecurity, and the IFR.
How does your work affect OCC employees outside of Washington, D.C.?
All politics is local! We love to hear OCC employees on rotational assignments at Headquarters tell us about their local political climate and the issues facing examiners outside of Washington, D.C. Sometimes our folks in the field inform us about potential issues or systemic problems in the banks before Congress hears about them, which also helps us stay informed about issues that might be coming down the legislative pipeline. We enjoy listening to visiting state bankers, who often articulate to the OCC the same issues and concerns they describe to their congressional delegation. We are very mindful that all of the actions that Congress takes have a real and local impact.
Tell us about a particularly memorable day on the Hill.
At the end of June 2010, when House and Senate members were working out the differences between the House- passed and Senate-passed versions of the Dodd-Frank Act, our staff had front row seats for all the action.
We attended the daily conference committee meetings to closely track the provisions that were accepted as well as those that fell onto the cutting room floor, to provide comments and assistance to members and staff as they worked to finalize the language, and to ensure that members and staff understood the OCC’s position on each provision.
The last few meetings of the conference committee were long, and we worked well into the night. In the wee hours of one morning, we found ourselves huddling in the hallway with a committee chairman and, using a garbage can lid for a small table, we handwrote edits onto the bill as we negotiated them. Although we’d been at the conference meeting for hours already, making changes in the middle of the night to preserve the OCC’s interests in the provision at hand was quite energizing. I think the final conference meeting adjourned around 6 a.m., and my coworkers and I walked back to the OCC, barely before Headquarters employees arrived for the new workday.
Last Updated: 03/19/2014