WASHINGTON (5/22/15)--Credit union interests were invoked a number of times throughout the U.S. Senate Banking Committee’s markup of regulatory relief legislation Thursday.
Letters of support from CUNA and its partners were read by Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) during consideration of a number of regulatory relief proposals.
“We particularly appreciate that the legislation includes three specific credit union provisions and several other significant regulatory relief provisions to reduce the unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations that negatively impact credit unions, their members and their communities,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We hope that conversations will continue on both sides of the aisle to achieve bipartisan agreement for regulatory relief for small financial institutions before the bill comes to the Senate floor.”
Shelby’s bill, the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, passed the committee with a 12-10 vote along party lines, and will be reported to the Senate. Shelby addressed the possibility of that outcome in his opening statement, and said such a vote will not likely spell the end of the bill.
“In fact, I believe it presents another opportunity to explore areas of potential agreement before this bill goes to the Senate floor which I fully expect that it will,” he said. “It remains our strong preference that we find a way to come together on a bipartisan basis before we reach that point.”
CUNA wrote to Shelby and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) Wednesday to express its support of a number of provisions in the bill’s first title.
These provisions would:
“There is no question that if these provisions were enacted, credit unions would realize a meaningful reduction in their regulatory burden, creating a positive and noticeable impact to our members,” Nussle wrote. “We look forward to working with the Committee as you advance regulatory relief for community based financial institutions.”
The bill also has two CUNA-supported amendments approved by the committee. The first, proposed by Crapo, would prohibit federal regulators from implementing or participating in Operation Choke Point, a Department of Justice initiative that some have claimed is used to separate consumers from access to financial services.
CUNA, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the Independent Community Bankers of America wrote to Crapo prior to the hearing to express support for the amendment, and read from the letter during the discussion of the amendment.
Crapo’s amendment passed with a 12-10 vote.
For coverage of the second amendment that was successfully added to Shelby’s bill, see “Toomey adds CUNA-supported amendment to Senate panel-approved relief package” in today’s News Now.