Congress Returns to Regular Activity After Week-Long Work Period

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) called on credit unions Monday to keep up the pressure and continue to urge Congress to support increased member business lending (MBL) authority for credit unions.

Credit unions in the Northwest are already responsible for 2900 contacts through CUNA’s Gassroots Action Center, which allows credit union advocates and supporters to directly contact their Senators in support of S. 2231, a bill that would increase the credit union MBL cap to 27.5 percent of assets from its current 12.25-percent limit.

Schedules are busy in Washington, D.C., this week as Congress returns from a week-long district work period. The Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies bill (H.R. 5326) and another budget bill are scheduled to be considered in the House this week, and the Senate is set to address judicial nominations and the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act (S. 2343).

Of particular note is Wednesday’s House subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing, which will focus on how compliance costs impact small financial institutions.

Terry West, president and CEO of Vystar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla., will address at the hearing how the growth of financial services regulations has impacted his credit union’s ability to lend and to serve its members. West will focus on the impact that new and revised regulations have had on consolidation in the credit union system, and whether federal regulators are considering the cumulative impact of these types of rules on small fin institutions.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) said in a statement that the hearing builds on field hearings the subcommittee has held across the country “regarding whether small financial institutions face significant regulatory burdens, and if so, guaranteeing that there is a workable regulatory regime so that these institutions can continue to survive and grow.”

“We must ensure that we have a diverse financial system,” she said.

CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said it is not clear if any additional new legislation will come from this series of hearings, but he noted that bills related to financial institution examination fairness and ATM fee disclosure requirements were first raised at earlier sessions of this series of hearings.

The House Financial Services Committee recently released its May hearing schedule, and bank capital requirements under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, aspects of Federal financial regulatory agency legal settlement procedures, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Structured Transaction Program, and the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s authority over nonbank financial firms are scheduled to be discussed.


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Posted in Federal.