WASHINGTON (9/8/14)--The U.S. House and Senate are back in session this week and with Congress meeting for less than a dozen days before November's election, CUNA is gearing up to push forward on a number of regulatory relief bills, as well as highlight the importance of the credit union system.
"We'll be talking to Congress about credit unions' 100 million memberships milestone, as well as encouraging them to take final action on key regulatory relief legislation and urge them to exercise thorough oversight of NCUA as the agency works to finalize its risk-based capital proposal," said Ryan Donovan, CUNA's senior vice president of legislative affairs, in a recent legislative update for CUNA membrs. He added that, despite reports of gridlock in Congress, "we can't just throw our hands up and abandon our efforts."
Those efforts include informing legislators about the success of CUNA's 100 million memberships campaign, which Donovan called an opportunity to "reinforce to legislators that credit unions continue to play a critical role in the financial lives of their constituents."
Congress will adjourn Sept. 19, and if federal lawmakers return before the election, it will likely only be for major items, such as funding the government in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Other major considerations include possible legislation relating to ISIS in the Middle East and the events that unfolded last month in Ferguson, Mo.
Donovan said that the Senate and House both have "months' worth of legislation on their calendars," which he said means it's "highly unlikely" CUNA priorities such as tax reform, patent reform and housing finance are heard before the end of the year.
There are several CUNA-supported bills that could be passed by the end of the year, and others that Donovan said CUNA hopes to make progress on this month.
The following topics have bills that have been passed by the House and are pending in the Senate:
Donovan said that if the bills are passed by the Senate this month, it is likely President Barack Obama will have the opportunity to sign them before the end of the year if they are not amended.
There are also two bills Donovan said CUNA is hoping to make progress on in September. Those bills are:
Read News Now Tuesday for a look at how legislators are getting involved in the NCUA's risk-based capital proposal.