FHLB access among 5 CUNA-backed reg. relief bills winning House approval
April 13, 2015
WASHINGTON (4/14/15)--Five CUNA-supported regulatory relief bills sailed through the House Monday, including a stand-alone credit union relief measure that would correct a drafting error that has prevented some credit unions from accessing Federal Home Loan Bank membership.
"CUNA and credit unions could not be more appreciative that the House's first order of business after coming back to session after a two-week District Work Session is to vote favorably on a regulatory relief package that will help credit unions better serve their members," Ryan Donovan, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer, said Monday after the votes.
"We look forward to working closely with Senate Banking Committee leadership to help these important statutory changes make their way through that chamber and onto the president's desk to be signed into law," he added.
Just hours before the Monday votes, CUNA sent letters of support to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging successful votes. CUNA has advocated for each of the pieces of legislation, including through testimony on Capitol Hill, at every step of the legislative process.
The first bill approved Monday was The Capital Access for Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015 (H.R. 299), which would allow privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Bank program. It was passed by a voice vote.
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) said prior to the vote that the bill would give 1.2 million credit union members greater access to credit. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) echoed those thoughts, adding that of the 128 privately insured credit unions, 57 of them are in Ohio, and they serve more than 333,000 members.
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) said the bill is a common sense piece of legislation, and several legislators noted the bipartisan, nationwide support the bill has received.
The other CUNA-supported bills approved by resoundingly favorable votes in the House were:
Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act (H.R. 1259), which would direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to establish an application process for determining whether an area should be defined as "rural," which would impact products credit unions in those areas could offer. The bill was passed by the House during the last Congress and passed Monday with a 401-1 vote;
Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (H.R. 1265), which would open up meetings of the CFPB's Credit Union Advisory Council to the public. The bill passed with a vote of 401-2; and
The SAFE Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act (H.R. 1480) would allow state and federal regulatory officials with financial services industry oversight authority to access information provided to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry without the loss of confidentiality protections provided by federal and state laws. The bill passed Monday by a 401-0 vote.
See today's News Now for a related story on the schedule for Congress this week, including other regulatory relief bills that may be voted on.