CUNA Advocacy Update – Week of November 13, 2017

Breaking News! Senate Banking Committee Reach Agreement on Common Sense Regulations

Just a few minutes ago, Chairman Crapo of the Senate Finance Committee announced the regulatory relief bill that will be introduced in the Senate. This bipartisan legislation includes a number of provisions CUNA has long fought for, but one in particular stands out from the rest! Included in the current legislative text is a section providing “that a 1- to 4-family dwelling that is not the primary residence of a member will not be considered a member business loan under the Federal Credit Union Act.”

CUNA has been very engaged with Senators on both sides of the aisle to ensure that this provision was included and made it known it was needed to garner credit union support. While this is just the first step in the process, we look forward to working with the Committee to make certain this legislation goes to the floor and eventually is signed into law. Check out CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog for the latest updates – we will post a full analysis of the bill as soon as possible!

What’s Happening in Washington this Week

Both the House and Senate are in session this week. In addition to its work on tax reform, the Senate is also expected to take up a few nominations. The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider H.R. 4243, the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2017, the Conference report to accompany H.R. 2810 (the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018), H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act.

Additionally, the House Financial Services Committee will be marking up a number of CUNA supported bills tomorrow and possibly into Wednesday. Read more about what is happening this week here!

Tax Reform Legislation Ready for House Vote and Senate Committee Vote

The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) unveiled a 429-page tax reform bill. H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” would cut taxes by roughly $1.5 trillion over ten years and would make significant changes to and simplify our nation’s tax laws. On November 9, after a four-day markup, the Committee passed the bill and it is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives the week of November 13, 2017. Click here to read our analysis of H.R. 1, as introduced. Few, if any, amendments will be allowed as the full House of Representatives debates and votes on the bill’s passage.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a multi-day markup, starting Monday, on its tax reform package, also called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” [Read more here]

CUNA Urges CFPB to Rely on More Current, Relevant Data as Part of Its Inquiry into Overdraft

CUNA filed a letter with the CFPB in response to its release of prototypes of the overdraft disclosure form, along with its most recent report on overdraft practices. While we noted a few substantive concerns with the prototypes themselves, our bigger issue is with the data the CFPB continues to rely on as it pursues potential changes in the area of overdraft programs. [Read more here]

Department of Labor Sends Official CUNA Supported Fiduciary Rule Delay to OMB

The Department of Labor has officially indicated that the Department of Labor Fiduciary rule will be delayed for 18-months. This means the applicability date will now be July 2019.

CUNA urged the DOL to implement this delay. In its letter to DOL, CUNA noted that many in the credit union industry and financial services industry were relying on at least a 180-day delay for compliance. We urged the DOL to institute a 180-day delay to allow time for the credit union industry to understand any changes that are made to the rule, and allow additional time to understand any compliance and applicability complexities associated with the rule. [Read more here]

CUNA Continues to Sound the Alarm on Frivolous Lawsuits

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled, “The Impact of Lawsuit Abuse on American Small Businesses and Job Creators.” Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter highlighting concerns about a recent uptick in litigation threats against credit unions brought under the cover of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

In his opening statement at the hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) mentioned CUNA as he submitted our letter for the hearing record. [Read more here]

Letter to DOJ Outlines Recommendations to Ameliorate Website Accessibility Litigation Threats

CUNA sent a letter following a meeting with Assistant Attorney General John Gore, outlining steps the DoJ should take to limit litigation threats to credit unions for website accessibility under the cover of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The letter noted that if credit unions were approached with ways to increase access to any product or service for members with disabilities, they would take appropriate steps necessary to address those concerns. However, as discussed in the meeting, they have instead been barraged with demand letters immediately threatening litigation brought under the ADA that targets highly technical alleged violations, based on unclear requirements for compliance. [Read more here]

Texas Slated to Permit Prize-Linked Savings Programs

With CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP), CUNA, the Cornerstone Credit Union League (CCUL) and credit unions successfully supported an amendment to the Texas constitution that will lead to Texas to becoming the 22nd state to permit prize-linked savings programs. The amendment authorizes Texas credit unions, banks, and savings banks to conduct raffles to promote savings by offering their customers prizes drawn at random. [Read more here]

Pending Regulatory Comments Calls

CUNA plans to comment on the following pending regulatory proposals. For our comment letters 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 for each proposal with your feedback. Also feel free to contact the CUNA staff listed if you would like more information on how to send your own letter.

For more information regarding these proposals, please follow the links below:

Issue Comment Period Deadline Agency CUNA Staff Contact
Mortgage Servicing Rules under RESPA (Reg X) Nov. 15, 2017 CFPB Monique Michel
Mortgage Servicing Rules under TILA (Reg Z) Nov. 17, 2017 CFPB Luke Martone
Regulatory Reform Agenda Nov. 20, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Disclosure of Loan-Level HMDA Data Nov. 24, 2017 CFPB Luke Martone
NCUA Draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan Dec. 4, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status Dec. 4, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Capital Planning and Supervisory Stress Testing Dec. 29, 2017 NCUA Lance Noggle
Electronic Loan, Deposit and Investment Data Collection Jan. 2, 2017 NCUA Monigue Michel
Over on the Removing Barriers Blog

Interesting Reads

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