Senate Approves Motion to Proceed on TAG Bill

After inclement weather delayed the vote by a day, the Senate voted today to proceed to consideration of S. 3637, the bill that would extend the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program for banks.

The motion to proceed passed by a 76-20 margin. Debate on the bill began immediately, and a final vote is now expected Thursday morning.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture last Thursday on the motion to proceed to S. 3637, accelerating the timetable for a bill that has been seen as a possible companion measure for S. 2231, the credit union member business lending (MBL) bill.

Reid has filled the bill’s amendment tree and again filed cloture, effectively blocking additional amendments and allowing the bill to move quickly to a final vote. Because some senators who voted in favor of the motion to proceed are expected to vote against the TAG bill itself, it remains unclear whether or not the measure will have the 60 votes needed for final passage.

S. 3637 would extend unlimited deposit insurance coverage granted during the financial crisis for noninterest bearing transaction accounts. Coverage is set to revert back to $250,000 at year’s end without congressional action. S. 2231, meanwhile, would raise the cap on credit union business lending from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent.

Early debate centered on procedure more than substance. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke out against Reid’s motion to invoke cloture, saying it allowed the majority to circumvent procedural rules and limit debate. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has said that it expects senators to voice opposition based on budget implications as well.

“We are in close contact with our legislators and with other key MBL stakeholders,” said NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner. “We have champions in Congress trying to determine a path for MBL this year, but at this point, the final outcome is unknown.”

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

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