CUNA Regulatory Update

Mark these dates on your calendar: December 4 and December 11.

    December 4 is the date on which authorization for the Highway Trust Fund expires. This is important to credit unions because the House-passed reauthorization bill includes two credit union provisions: one would modernize privacy notification requirements and the other would permit privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Bank System. We have been working to make sure these provisions survive the conference committee that has convened to resolve the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of this bill, and we hope final action will be taken on the bill this week.
    December 11 is the date on which funding for the federal government expires. This is important to credit unions because both committee-approved financial services and general government appropriations bills, in both chambers, include credit union supported provisions. The Senate bill has nearly a dozen regulatory relief provisions that would benefit credit unions, including provisions that would deem mortgages held in portfolio as Qualified Mortgages, provide for greater NCUA budget transparency, and address concerns with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposal on FHLB membership requirements. The House version includes, among other provisions, measures related to the CFPB’s structure. There has been an effort, particularly on the part of Senator Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Banking Committee, to include several regulatory relief provisions in the omnibus appropriations bill that is expected to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year. While we are very certain that several provisions will not make the final cut, we continue to press for inclusion of as many as possible.

With these two dates quickly approaching, Congress returns today for its last work period before adjourning the First Session of the 114th Congress. Legislatures in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania are also in session this week.

Here is what you need to know about credit union advocacy this week:

  • Congressional deadlines drive the potential for regulatory relief for credit unions in the closing days of the Congressional session.
  • NCUA’s Field of Membership proposal will likely be published in the Federal Register this week, initiating a 60 day comment period.

In Congress

The floor schedule for both chambers is always somewhat fluid in the final two or three weeks of session. The House comes back today and will consider bills under suspension of the rules. Later this week, the House is expected to take up H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, S.J. Res. 23, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units”, and S.J. Res 24, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units”. Further consideration of the highway trust fund bill and appropriations bills is also possible.

The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Gayle Smith, of Ohio, to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). We expect the Senate to consider the highway trust fund bill when the conference concludes.

In addition to the highway bill and appropriations matters, Congress is expected to tackle budget reconciliation and tax-extender legislation before adjourning.

As usual, we are following several hearings including the following:

Tuesday

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Technology will hold a hearing entitled, “The Disrupter Series: Mobile Payments.”

Wednesday

    The House Education and the Workforce Committee Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Principles for Ensuring Retirement Advice Serves the Best Interests of Working Families and Retirees.”
    The House Financial Services Committee Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee will hold a hearing on a review of three legislative proposals to enhance capital formation for small and medium-sized companies; and legislation to ensure fairness and due process for litigated Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement matters.
    The House Agriculture Committee will hold a full committee hearing to review the farm credit system.

Pending Regulatory Comment Calls

CUNA intends to comment on the following pending regulatory proposals. For our comment letter to have the greatest impact, we need to hear from you. Please consider whether and how these proposals would affect your credit union. If you have feedback or questions regarding any proposal, please contact the CUNA staff listed with each proposal.
We encourage Leagues and credit unions to use PowerComment to file comment letters with regulators. For more information regarding these proposals, please follow the links below:

OMB re: Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices December 7, 2015 Joint Leah Dempsey
OMB Request re: HMDA Data Collection January 11, 2016 CFPB Andy Price
Field of Membership TBD NCUA Lance Noggle

A note regarding Field of Membership: we view this proposal as very positive for credit unions and we will be strongly encouraging credit unions to comment on the proposal, and to ask their employees and volunteers to engage as well. Please look for additional information in the coming days on the Removing Barriers Blog and on our Field of Membership page.

Last Week on the Removing Barriers Blog

NCUA Staff Briefs CUNA Members on FOM

CUNA’s Advocacy Committee and Federal Credit Union Subcommittee were briefed by NCUA staff on the recent proposed field of membership (FOM) rule.

CUNA Files Comments Regarding Bank Notes Proposal

Today we filed a comment letter with the NCUA on the agency’s proposed investment rule for bank notes.

DOL Overtime RUle Now Slated for July 2016

The Labor Department is now targeting a July 2016 release of its final overtime pay rule.

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