CUNA Advocacy Update

Last week was quite a week for credit union advocacy, so much so that it’s hard to know what to prioritize.  The CFPB announced a hearing on new small dollar loan regulations… DOL finalized a new overtime pay rule…the  House Financial Services examined CFPB’s arbitration proposal… Senate Commerce held a CUNA-requested hearing on the FCC’s TCPA order… Jim Nussle met with Richard Cordray… CUNA met with FASB’s Chairman… NCUA shed a lot of light on how it will proceed on the CUNA-League priority of reduced exam burden and modernized call reports.  This week, the House and Senate are in session, joining 16 state legislatures also expected to hold sessions this week.

This Week on the Hill: Congress has a sharp eye on the end of the week, when it will begin the Memorial Day recess. But before they take a break, the House will consider H.R. 897, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015 (Zika Vector Control Act), the Senate amendment to H.R. 2576, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, and H.R. 5055, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. The Senate will consider S.2613, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016.

As usual, we will be following several committee meetings on both sides of the Capitol, including the following:

Tuesday

  • The House Financial Services Committee Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Stopping Terror Finance: A Coordinated Government Effort.”
  • The House Homeland Security Committee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee and Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing on “Enhancing Preparedness and Response Capabilities to Address Cyber Threats.”
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R. 5278, the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.”

Wednesday

  • The House Appropriations Committee Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee will hold a markup of the FY2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.
  • The House Ways and Means Committee Tax Policy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Perspectives on the Need for Tax Reform.”

Thursday

  • The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Oversight of the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program.”

In Town This Week: National Retail Federation, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association

Next Week’s Main Event: CFPB Hearing on Proposed Rule for Small Dollar Lending (June 2)

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, and contact the CUNA staff listed with each proposal with your feedback 

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:

Issue Comment Period Deadline

Agency

CUNA Staff Contact
Amendments to Servicing Rules under TILA/RESPA May 26. 2016 CFPB Andy Price
Exemptions from TCPA for Government Debts June 6, 2016 FCC Leah Dempsey
Student Loan Borrower Communications June 12, 2016 CFPB Luke Martone
NCUA Occupancy Rule June 27, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System July 5, 2016 FFIRC Andy Price
Joint Incentive Based Compensation Rule July 22, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Arbitration Clauses TBD CFPB Leah Dempsey

Nussle Meets with Cordray, Presents Reg Burden Study: During this meeting, we presented the results of our comprehensive Regulatory Burden Study and discussed the impact increasing regulations are having on credit unions. In addition, we thanked Director Cordray for listening to credit union concerns and providing a broader exemption for smaller creditors in the qualified mortgage and escrow mortgage rules. We also discussed details on how credit unions are experiencing regulatory burden and how the CFPB can address this reality in its rulemakings. [More]

House Committee Holds Arbitration Hearing: The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Credit held a hearing last week on the CFPB’s recent proposed rule on arbitration. We sent the committee a letter in advance of this hearing highlighting our concerns about the Bureau’s proposal, and how it might affect the credit union-member relationship. We believe this proposal is inappropriate for credit unions, and could deprive consumers of an efficient dispute resolution process. The CFPB’s proposal, while not an explicit ban, is a de facto ban on the effectiveness of the arbitration process, and would require financial institutions to insert language into their arbitration agreements reflecting this limitation. [More]

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Raises CUNA Concerns at TCPA Hearing: At a CUNA-requested hearing last week on the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) order, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune cited CUNA’s concerns in questions to witnesses.[More]

NCUA Board Meeting Sheds Light on Exam, Call Report Modernization: At its open meeting last week, the NCUA Board received a report of the Corporate Stabilization Fund and received a Board Briefing on Call Report Modernization. There were no action items for the Board to consider, only a report and the newly announced procedure of a Board Briefing which will allow Board members to discuss an item in a publicly noticed meeting without any action taken by the Board. NCUA indicates it expects more Board Briefings in the future. This was the first meeting with Chairman Rick Metsger at the helm and only two sitting board members, due to the resignation of former Chair, Debbie Matz. [More]

In the States… Arizona enacted a credit union act modernization bill that permits credit unions to compensate directors and conduct prize-linked savings programs, and in Michigan, an extensive credit union act recodification is on the verge of passage. Rep. Brad Sherman also recently requested CFPB review Property Tax Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs as legislation is being considered in a number of states.

DOL Finalizes Overtime Rule: Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the anticipated rule governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees are entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay. The DOL made some of the changes that CUNA urged them to make in our comment letter, which we appreciate. However, we still believe the rules, as finalized, will create regulatory burdens for credit unions, particularly smaller credit unions and those in rural and underserved areas. [More]

Pulse Check on CFPB Rulemaking Agenda: Last week, the CFPB published its Spring 2016 Rulemaking Agenda in the Federal Register. There were few surprises in the agenda, but it continues to show that there are several pending rulemakings which will impact credit unions and could increase the regulatory burdens they are facing. Reflecting other recent announcements from the CFPB, both the small dollar loan rulemaking and the arbitration rulemaking are in the proposed rule stage. Debt collection and overdraft remain in the pre-rule stage, which we believe indicates Small Business Review panels could be held in the timeframes highlighted in the agenda. Rules on prepaid cards, amendments to the 2013 TILA/RESPA mortgage rule, and the Expedited Funds Availability Act are also in their final rule stage. [More]

Over on the Removing the Barriers Blog House Holds Hearing on the Fed’s Balance Sheet and Interest on Reserves… Senate Finance Committee Hearing Passes Over Tax Status… CUNA Attends Small Business Committee Roundtable… CUNA Pushes DoD for Relief and Guidance on the Military Lending Act Regulation… NCUA Chairman Metsger Initiates Board Briefings… CUNA Stresses Credit Union Difference in Meeting with FASB Chair…  Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Improving Access to CapitalDefense Authorization Bill Passes Free of Harmful Credit Union Provisions.

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