What’s Happening in Washington this Week
It’s expected to be a busy week here in Washington as Congress works to fund the Government by Friday and pass Tax Reform before the New Year. Today, the House is scheduled to vote on a “Motion to go to Conference” on H.R. 1 – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed the Senate early Saturday morning. Additionally, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 477, the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017; H.R. 3971, the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2017 and H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.
The Senate is expected to continue its consideration of judicial and executive branch nominations.
Funding for the federal government will expire on Friday. We expect House and Senate leadership to craft a short term “Continuing Resolution” to fund the government until December 22. This is intended to give Congressional leadership more time to craft a long-term compromise on a bill to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2018 (September 30, 2018). Read more about what’s happening in Washington this week!
Tax Reform Legislation Passed the Senate
Early Saturday morning, the Senate passed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, which would cut taxes by roughly $1.5 trillion over ten years and would make significant changes to and simplify our nation’s tax laws. The full House of Representatives passed its tax reform bill last month. Now negotiators from both chambers will meet in earnest to craft a compromise bill that can pass both bodies before the end of the year.
Both the House and Senate bills would not alter or eliminate the credit union federal income tax status in any way! This is a huge victory for the credit union movement and an affirmation by the United States Congress of the value proposition of the credit union difference. This was accomplished against the unified opposition and lobbying force of America’s banks and their $17 trillion in assets!
The original Senate bill included provisions that would have imposed new Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) requirements on credit unions and the trade associations like those that represent credit unions. One of these provisions that would have imposed UBIT on logo and royalty income that many credit unions and others depend upon … income that is actually in direct relation to their exempt status… was removed from the bill. CUNA opposition resulted in this provision being eliminated from the final bill. [Read more here]
CUNA Joins Financial Trades in Op-Ed Urging for a CFPB Commission
CUNA’s CEO Jim Nussle along with the President/CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, Richard Hunt, and the President/CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Camden Fine, published an opinion piece in the Morning Consult on why a Commission is the best option to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a post-Cordray world.
CUNA has long supported a multi-person commission, rather than the current structure of a lone director. Last week’s political fighting and legal disputes have added to the reasons why a Commission is needed. [Read more here]
CFPB Director Updates
The last 10 days have been drama filled at the CFPB… and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. This morning, Leandra English announced she will again seek to block Mick Mulvaney from acting as Interim Director at the CFPB via a preliminary injunction.
CUNA has been engaged in the process and will continue to keep a close eye on the developments along the way!
CUNA Sent a Letter to Mulvaney in Support of the Credit Union Difference
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, CFPB Director Cordray officially resigned and named Leandra English as deputy director before resigning, indicating English would become acting director upon his resignation. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump named Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as interim director of the Bureau. On Monday, CUNA sent a letter to Director Mulvaney. In the letter, CUNA detailed a number of requests including a freeze on any new regulatory requirements for credit unions. [Read more here]
Mulvaney Announces Regulatory Freeze at CFPB
Several hours after CUNA sent the letter to Interim Director Mulvaney, he announced a freeze of future rulemaking actions at the CFPB. [Read more here]
A Judge Confirmed Mulvaney is the Acting Director
On Tuesday afternoon, a U.S. District Court Judge threw out a request for a restraining order that would have blocked OMB Director Mulvaney from assuming the leadership position at the CFPB. [Read more here]
CUNA Sent Letter of Support of Legislation to Repeal NCUA’s RBC Rule
CUNA sent a letter to Representative Bill Posey in support of his recently introduced legislation to repeal the NCUA’s risk-based capital rule – The Common Sense Credit Union Capital Relief Act of 2017. [Read more here]
CUNA Submits Comments to NCUA on Proposed Accuracy in Advertising Rule
CUNA submitted a comment letter in response to NCUA’s proposed Accuracy in Advertising rule. This rule would permit a fourth short-form category for credit unions to communicate their status as “insured by NCUA,” and also eliminate the need for the advertising statement to be included in radio and television advertisements between 15 and 30 seconds duration, as well as published statements of condition—the latter two provisions comprise restraints that have not been applicable to similarly FDIC-insured banking organizations since 2011. [Read more here]
CUNA Submits Comments to NCUA on 2018-2022 Strategic Plan
CUNA wrote a letter to support ongoing supervisory modernization and regulatory relief under NCUA’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022. Among the topics raised in CUNA’s letter are the need for Bank Secrecy Act reporting compliance relief, a return to the historical 1.3% net operating level, examination flexibility, and independent examination review.
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: