WASHINGTON (3/8/11)--National housing policy and reform of the tax code may be the two biggest issues of credit union interest facing the U.S. House and Senate this week. On the congressional agenda:
* On Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee will conduct a hearing on the report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), and Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff, who are co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, are expected to testify. Also, the Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing, "Does the Tax System Support Economic Efficiency, Job Creation and Broad-Based Economic Growth?" This hearing will feature several witnesses from academia. * Also on Tuesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a field hearing on "The Foreclosure Crisis," focusing on abuses by mortgage servicing companies, including allegations of fraud. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and others will testify. The hearing will take place in Baltimore, Md. * On Wednesday, the Senate Budget Committee will conduct a look at "Distribution and Efficiency of Spending in the Tax Code." Witnesses from the Center for Budget and Policy, Citizens for Tax Justice, and the Tax Foundation are expected to testify. And the Senate Banking Committee will conduct a hearing on the state of the housing market, with witnesses from the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors and the Center for Housing Policy expected to testify. * Also on Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R.839, the "HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) Termination Act"; and H.R.861, the "Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act." This vote was rescheduled from last week. * On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on pending nominations and legislation, including S. 222, the Limiting Investor and Homeowner Loss in Foreclosure Act of 2010.
Also of interest, the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday will hold a hearing on the nominations of Peter Diamond to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Katharine Abraham to be a member of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Carl Shapiro to be a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. And on Friday, the House Financial Services subcommittee on insurance, housing and community opportunity will hold a hearing on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Also on the radar, last week at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference, House and Senate lawmakers indicated that they soon would re-introduce bills to increase the member business lending cap.