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CU, Bank Reg Relief Bill Could Come Soon
WASHINGTON (6/4/13)--Comprehensive regulatory relief legislation could be considered by the House Financial Services Committee in the coming weeks. The Credit Union National Association is urging legislators to include greater supplemental capital and member business lending authority to this package, Ryan Donovan, CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs, said Monday.

Financial Services Committee members are said to be preparing to offer a bipartisan regulatory relief bill, or bills, Donovan noted. This could be the subject of consideration in the committee later this month, if leaders are able to agree on the components of the bill, he said.

Committee members are looking for areas where credit union and community bank interests may intersect in a bill. CUNA has assured lawmakers that such areas exist; for instance, one such area is examination fairness legislation.

Pamela Stephens, CEO of Security One FCU, Arlington, Texas, presented CUNA's 35-point relief plan for regulatory relief during a March subcommittee hearing. Changes promoted by the CUNA plan include:
  • Increasing National Credit Union Administration budget transparency;
  • Adjusting the treatment of non-owner occupied one- to four-family dwelling loans for credit unions from business loans to residential real estate loans;
  • Increasing the maturity limit for higher education loans made by federal credit unions; and
  • Expanding investment authority in credit union service organizations.
Committee Vice Chairman Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) announced his intention to introduce a credit union relief bill at that same hearing.

This week, the U.S. House is expected to focus on fiscal year 2014 appropriations bills, including defense and national security spending. The Senate is scheduled to resume consideration of the 2013 Farm Bill (S. 954).

Credit unions will also be interested in several hearings this week, including:

  • A Tuesday Senate Banking Committee hearing on Iran sanctions;
  • A Wednesday House Financial Services capital markets and government sponsored enterprises subcommittee hearing entitled "Examining the Market Power and Impact of Proxy Advisory Firms.";
  • A Wednesday House Small Business Committee hearing on reducing duplication and promoting efficiency at the U.S. Small Business Administration;
  • A Senate Banking housing, transportation, and community development subcommittee hearing on reverse mortgage sustainability; and
  • A Senate Banking Committee economic policy subcommittee hearing entitled "The State of the American Dream: Economic Policy and the Future of the Middle Class."
Innovative ideas for raising capital will be the topic of a Thursday House Small Business investigations, oversight and regulations subcommittee hearing.
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