CUNA watching Dec. deadlines for reg. relief

November 30, 2015

WASHINGTON (11/30/15)--CUNA will be paying close attention to funding expiration deadlines on Friday (Highway Trust Fund) and Dec. 11 (federal government funding). With both houses of Congress back in Washington, D.C., there are roughly 10-12 legislative days left before the end of the first session of the 114th Congress.

“We’re looking at a two, three week period of time once Congress comes back from Thanksgiving, where we could see a number of credit union regulatory relief provisions move through the chamber and perhaps become law,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer. “Our strategy the whole year has been to get as many provisions through the House Financial Services Committee, House of Representatives and Senate Banking Committee as we can to ripen them so they could be a part of these end-of-year packages.”

Friday marks the end of the funding for the Highway Trust Fund. The DRIVE Act (H.R. 22) would restore funding, and the House-passed version of the bill also contains two regulatory relief provisions for credit unions.

One provision would modernize privacy notices and the other would permit privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

A conference committee is currently working to resolve the differences between the House and Senate-passed versions. CUNA wrote to the committee earlier this month, urging it to retain the two provisions.

“We hope and we expect that our two provisions will survive the conference committee, we’re not really going to know until they deliver their report and we expect that this week,” Donovan said.

Dec. 11 marks the deadline for funding the federal government, and both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees are working on a financial services and general government (FSGG) appropriations bill.

Members of both committees are working toward an omnibus appropriations bill.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chair of the Senate Banking Committee and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was able to attach his regulatory relief bill to the FSGG bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FSGG bill in July.

Shelby’s bill, which passed the Senate Banking Committee in May, contains the privacy notice and privately insured credit union provisions, as well as other regulatory relief items CUNA has advocated for.

These include requiring the National Credit Union Administration to hold public budget hearings, treat mortgages held in portfolios as qualified mortgages, ensure a comprehensive regulatory review to identify unnecessary or redundant regulations and much more.

CUNA also wrote to the committees this month asking for the Financial Product Safety Commission Act (H.R. 1266) to be included in an omnibus appropriations bill. The bill would replace the current director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a five-person committee.