The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 2514, the COUNTER Act. Introduced by United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), the COUNTER Act would implement several changes and additions to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which legally directs banks’ responsibilities to help the government detect and defend against illegal financial transactions.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II

Much of the same legislative language was passed as an amendment last week within the Corporate Transparency Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). However, the vote today was on the COUNTER Act as a standalone bill with some minor changes. The legislation was passed by a unanimous voice vote, demonstrating overwhelming bipartisan support.

“I want to thank Congressman Stivers for his help in crafting this legislation,” said Congressman Cleaver. “As bad actors develop new techniques to perpetuate financial criminality, it was important to me that we worked closely behind the scenes to formulate legislation that could protect American consumers and financial institutions while garnering vast bipartisan consensus. I’m proud of the byproduct of our efforts, and remain hopeful we can get it passed in the Senate and signed into law.”

A minor change to the COUNTER Act from last week’s legislation is the inclusion of state bank supervisors to sections of legislation related to the creation of an innovation council, a study on financial risk, a study on the delegation of examination authority, and the newly created privacy council.

This legislation has received the endorsement of a number of organizations including: the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Bank Policy Institute, National Association of Federal-Insured Credit Unions, Credit Union National Association, Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America, Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency Coalition, American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, One Campaign, Financial Services Forum National Association of Realtors, Institute for International Finance, American Land Title Association, and Bankers Association for Finance and Trade.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.