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CU issues in Congress this week
WASHINGTON (6/17/08)—With just two weeks before its Independence Day District Work Period and a mere 35 scheduled legislative days remaining this year, the U.S. Senate reconvened Monday to consider energy issues and the U.S. House convenes today to consider several measures. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) had been hopeful that the Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act (CURRA, H.R. 5519) would be on the House suspension calendar for a vote this week. However, it is not currently on the list of bills to be considered. CURRA is the regulatory relief bill clarifying federal credit unions' ability to add underserved areas to their fields of membership and exempting member business loans (MBLs) made in underserved areas from the 12.25% MBL cap . It is expected that the House will this week vote on bills addressing parental leave, child abuse and, possibly Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental appropriations. On the Senate side, lawmakers first considered the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act and were expected to move then to housing legislation that would allow the Federal Housing Administration to insure refinanced mortgages that have been significantly written down by mortgage holders and lenders. Proponents of that bill were hopeful that that the housing bill would reach the President's desk by Independence Day. However, the prospects of that happening now appear to be slim. CUNA will be monitoring several hearings of interest to credit unions:
* On Monday, the House Financial Services subcommittee on housing and community opportunity conducted a field hearing in Ohio on foreclosures in that state; * On Tuesday, the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and government operations is scheduled to vote on its FY 2009 appropriations bill. The bill would affect a few National Credit Union Administration programs, such as Community Development Revolving Loan Fund; * On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will investigate data protection issues in a hearing entitled “Protecting Personal Information: Is the Federal Government Doing Enough?"; and * On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on affordable housing preservation and protection of tenants. Also on Thursday, the Senate Banking subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment has scheduled a look into "Risk Management and its Implications for Systemic Risk."


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