Federal Legislative Week in Review

Thank you to everyone who sent emails in response to the two Action Alerts we sent out in the last two weeks.  We had a good response but have more work to do, and must strike while the iron is hot.

A Call to Action was sent out on Friday regarding legislation on both Member Business Lending and Interchange.  Please take a moment to ensure you have sent your emails on both issues and share the Call to Action with other staff.  As noted below in CUNA’s legislative update, both the House and the Senate return to work this week with full agendas.

Call to Action
High Importance (CEOs, Senior Management, All Staff)
Deadline:  Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thank you to everyone who sent emails in response to the two Action Alerts we sent out in the last two weeks.  We had a good response but have more work to do.  We must strike while the iron is hot, and the iron is hot right now on two federal issues of critical importance to Northwest credit unions—member business lending and interchange fees.

On the interchange issue, bills were introduced in both the House and Senate seeking to delay the proposed Federal Reserve rule implementing the debit interchange provision of the Dodd-Frank Act.  Delay of this rule is critically necessary because it will have an impact on credit unions and their members that runs contrary to the intent of Congress.  Time is of the essence because key aspects of the proposal are set to be adopted by April 21, 2011, and be in effect by July 21, 2011.  We need our federal delegation to hear from us about what this rule will mean to credit unions and to the consumer.  Merchants have ramped up their grassroots efforts in support of the Fed’s proposed rule being implemented “as is.”  We cannot let this happen.

Regarding Member Business Lending, we came very close to passing this legislation last Congress.  The momentum is still there and we need to keep pushing while that opportunity exists.  There has not been a bill introduced in the House yet, but please contact your Senators on this issue if you have not yet.

Below are the TOP 5 RESPONDERS from both states:



Senate Interchange Contacts     Senate Interchange Contacts
iQ CU – 35                                Maps CU – 18
North Coast CU – 15                   Pacific Crest FCU – 17
Potlatch No. 1 FCU – 15              Central Willamette – 4
Industrial CU – 11                       Mid Oregon FCU – 2
Fibre FCU – 11 

House Interchange Contacts        House Interchange Contacts
Industrial CU – 8                         Pacific Crest FCU – 10
Potlatch No 1 FCU – 8                 Maps CU – 4
iQ CU – 7                                  Central Willamette – 2
Fibre FCU – 4
North Coast CU – 3

PLEASE NOTE:  On the Interchange Call to Action, Capwiz is set up so that after you send your emails to the Senators, you will be directed to then send emails to your House Members.  Don’t miss this important step.                                               

Senate MBL Contacts                  Senate MBL Contacts
Total: 462                                  Total: 310

Action Needed:  Please send a message to your Representatives and Senators TODAY on both these critical issues.  Prewritten letters are available for your use at Grassroots Action Center, where you can quickly personalize and send messages.

Make sure your voice is counted!  If you do not utilize CapWiz, please be sure to send Jennifer Wagner a copy of your letter. 

Thank you for your participation in this important Action Alert.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Jennifer Wagner at (503) 350-2224.

CUNA Legislative Update—Week of March 28

Both chambers return from Constituent Work Periods this week.

The Senate returns today and will resume consideration of S. 493, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Bill (Small Business Administration programs).  On Monday afternoon, the Senate will consider judicial nominations in executive session.  Debate on S. 493 is expected to resume on Tuesday.  This, of course, is the legislation to which Senator Udall attempted to offer his MBL bill when the Senate was last in session.  If there are any developments with this effort, we will be sure to convey that as soon as possible. 

The House returns on Tuesday and has a full week of legislative business scheduled.  On Tuesday, the House will consider H.R. 1079, the Airport and Airway Extension Act, and H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act.  On Wednesday, the House will consider H.R. 471, Scholarship for Opportunity and Results Act, and H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (Transportation and Agriculture issues).  On Thursday and Friday, the House is expected to consider H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act.

Committee Hearings. We are following several committee hearings and meetings in both chambers. 

  • On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Public Proposals for the Future of the Housing Finance System.” 
  • On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled, “The Cost of Implementing the Dodd-Frank Act:  Budgetary and Economic.” 
  • On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing entitled, “Immediate Steps to Protect Taxpayers from the Ongoing Bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” 
  • On Friday, the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing entitled, “Legislative Proposals to Reform the National Flood Insurance Program.”

We expect additional cosponsors will be added to both the MBL legislation as well as the interchange bills throughout the week.