Draft legislation would allow FOM expansions, MBL relief

May 17, 2021

The House Financial Services Committee will discuss several CUNA-supported bills this week, including legislation to allow federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership and exempt loans in low-income areas from the member business lending cap.

CUNA and Leagues have engaged heavily with Congress in the last few months to advance financial inclusion by allowing federal credit unions to serve underserved areas.

Specifically, the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act would:

  • Allow all federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership;
  • Exempt business loans made by credit unions to businesses in low-income areas from the credit union member business lending cap; and 
  • Expand the definition of low-income credit union to include any area that is more than 10 miles from the nearest branch of a financial institution.

The hearing, scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. (ET), will also include testimony from NCUA Chairman Todd Harper and other federal financial regulators.

Other CUNA-supported legislation to be discussed at the hearing includes:

  • A resolution (H.J. Res. 35) to repeal the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s “true lender” proposal. The Senate voted to repeal the proposal last week; and
  • The Central Liquidity Facility Enhancement Act, which would make permanent the pandemic-related flexibility granted to NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility. This includes expanded borrowing authority to 16 times the paid in capital (up from the pre-pandemic 12 times).

The House is also expected to consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules.

Additional hearings CUNA is engaged with this week include:

  • Tuesday, 10 a.m. (ET): House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access hearing, “Examining the role of Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions in Small Business Lending;”
  • Tuesday, 10 a.m. (ET): Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: Part I;” and
  • Wednesday: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government hearing, “Internal Revenue Service: Narrowing the Tax Gap and Improving Taxpayer Services.”