WASHINGTON (9/29/11)--The Financial Regulatory Responsibility Act of 2011 (S. 1615), introduced by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), “could prove to be beneficial to credit unions if enacted,” Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said Wednesday. Donovan reiterated that reducing regulatory burden for credit unions is a top CUNA priority and added that the Shelby bill proposes significant changes to the rulemaking process. However, Donovan noted, the long-term prospects of the bill are uncertain. The bill would require the National Credit Union Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal financial regulators to report the economic impact of the rules, including their effects on growth and net job creation, before those rules could become law (News Now Sept. 28) The legislation would substantially revise the Administrative Procedure Act to require agencies to consider the costs and benefits of new rules and other actions and to conduct public hearings for most rules that the Office of Management and Budget determines would have an industry impact of $1 billion or more. Shelby in a release said the legislation would hold financial regulators “accountable for rigorous, consistent economic analysis on every new rule they propose” and would require them to provide “clear justification for the rules.” Shelby also said the bill also “improves the transparency and accountability of the regulatory process and reduces the burdens of existing regulations.” “CUNA is going to keep a close eye on this bill in the coming months,” Donovan said. The bill is co-sponsored by Shelby’s fellow Senate Banking Committee Republicans, Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Michael Crapo (Idaho), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Patrick Toomey (Pa.), David Vitter (La.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.). Shelby has requested that the Senate Banking Committee conduct a hearing on the bill, but that hearing has not yet been scheduled.