Trade, FSGG, cybersecurity bills set for hearings this week

June 16, 2015

WASHINGTON (6/16/15)--CUNA’s advocacy team is monitoring a number of bills under consideration this week in the U.S. Congress, reported CUNA’s Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan in his “Weekly Legislative Update” video.

The House of Representatives is expected to consider several bills under suspension of the rules, including reconsidering Trade Assistance Authority legislation.

“Credit unions last week scored a victory when House leadership removed a troublesome provision” from the trade bill, which would have required additional 1099 reporting of accounts that earned less than $10 of interest in a year and would have reported reporting on non-interest bearing deposit accounts, said Donovan in his report.

CUNA sent a letter to congressional leaders expressing grave concerns about the provision and worked with a coalition of state leagues, the Independent Community Bankers of America and state banking associations to persuade leadership to remove the provision. “We appreciate that the leagues reached out to key members of Congress on this issue,” Donovan said.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Appropriations will hold a full committee markup of the FY2016 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill, which contains the appropriations for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the National Credit Union Administration’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) and a number of directives affecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

In the bill, the CDFI Fund has been budgeted $233,523,000 and the CDRLF has been budgeted $2 million. Both funds help community development credit unions serve low-income members.

"There's a report that accompanies the legislation that shows in general how does the appropriations committee see the world," Donovan said. "What we expect to be included is language that encourages the codification of the Credit Union Advisory Council and endorses the notion--that CUNA has supported for several years--that the CPFB should be a five-person commission opposed to a single executive director."

The bill also directs the agency to ensure its rulemakings and compliance requirements are not duplicative of other regulators.

Donovan said it's also expected that the committee report will encourage the CFPB to make sure that the rules they promulgate regarding overdraft protection and payday lending protect consumers but also ensure that consumers have access to those financial tools.

In other congressional action, the Senate is expected to continue its consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (H.R. 1735), another bill that CUNA has weighed in on. CUNA and other financial trade associations wrote a letter urging an amendment to the act that would add the text of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S 754) to the defense bill.

Two House committee hearings have been set for today:

  • The House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "A Global Perspective on Cyber Threats;" and
  • The House Financial Services Committee capital markets and government sponsored enterprises subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Legislative Proposals to Modernize Business Development Companies and Expand Investment Opportunities," H.R. 2187, the Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act and the Small Business Credit Availability Act.

Wednesday’s committee hearings scheduled also include:

  • The House Committee on Financial Services will hold a full committee hearing on "The Annual Report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)." It will receive testimony from U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. FSOC was established by the Dodd-Frank Act to identify risks to the nation’s financial stability related to financial distress or failure, promoting financial market discipline and responding to emerging threats to the U.S. financial system’s stability; and
  • The House Financial Services Committee Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "The Impact of the International Monetary Fund: Economic Stability or Moral Hazard?"

The House also this week expects to begin consideration of Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (H.R. 2596); the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 160) and the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 1190).