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CURIA gets backer number 140
WASHINGTON (12/17/07)—Rep. Robert "Bud" Cramer (D-Ala.) has signed onto the co-sponsor list for the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537) to become the 140 official backer. The bill is now co-sponsored by 97 Democrats and 43 Republicans and 34 of those names are first-time supporters this year. Of those 34, 18 are incumbents signing on in support of CURIA for the first time this session. Last year, a CURIA bill drew the support of a total of 126 co-sponsors from both political parties The 2007 CURIA bill is similar to the 2006 version, but with the addition of two key provisions: One addresses field of membership rules, the other would add more consumer safeguards in the event of a credit union conversion to another form of financial institution. The 2007 bill also contains changes to the National Credit Union Administration's original prompt corrective action (PCA) reform plan, changes crafted specifically to address the Treasury Department's concerns that a credit union risk-based system must more closely resemble the current Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. capital standard for banks. As introduced, H.R. 1537 would:
* Clarify the 1998 Credit Union Membership Access Act to allow all credit unions, regardless of charter type, to serve those in underserved areas. The bill would also update the definition of an underserved area, incorporating definitions from the Community; *Development Financial Institutions Act and the New Markets Tax Credit; and Increase the current cap on loans to members for business purposes (MBLs) from 12.25% to 20% of assets, allowing credit unions to assist more members start and expand small businesses and to promote economic growth. The bill would also exempt loans under $100,000 and those to nonprofit religious organizations from the MBL calculation. Last year, a CURIA bill drew the support of a total of 126 co-sponsors from both political parties


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