WASHINGTON (5/19/15)--The Thursday markup of Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) regulatory relief bill will be closely monitored by CUNA--and many others. However, even after the final votes are taken, the bill may still have an uphill battle.
As widely reported over the last few weeks, there has been a difference of opinion between Republicans and Democrats on how to proceed with regulatory relief in the Senate.
The bill is expected to pass the committee, even if the votes break down along strict party lines, as there are 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
“If the legislation gets through the committee and picks up three or four Democratic votes, then there’s a chance the Senate as a whole could consider the bill later this year, perhaps even in June,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “That will depend a lot on what other legislation is pending for Senate consideration.”
However, Donovan added, should the Shelby package get bogged down, there are other avenues for success for the credit union provisions strongly backed by CUNA.
“If the legislation moves through the banking committee on a party-line vote, then it probably means we’ll be looking at other ways to move the provisions in the first title,” he said, referring to the title of the bill that contains the regulatory relief measures for credit unions. “That could be through the appropriations process, through the noncontroversial hotlines process that usually takes place at the end of the session.”
The provisions could be added as amendments to an appropriations bill, where if passed by both chambers, would be sent to the president to be signed into law.
The “hotlining” process could also be available as a last resort. The process involves agreement between the Senate majority and minority leaders on noncontroversial provision to allow objections to be called into special hotlines during a specified amount of time. If no objections are received, the provision is passed.
For more information on the scheduled markup and CUNA’s “Weekly Legislative Update,” as well as other happenings this week in Congress, see “Senate reg. relief vote headlines this week in Congress” in today’s News Now.