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House Committee adds exemption to CFPA legislation
WASHINGTON (10/16/09)--An amendment to H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act which would limit the examination and enforcement authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) over insured depository institutions to credit unions with more than $1.5 billion in assets and banks with more than $10 billion in total assets, passed by a voice vote on Thursday afternoon. The amendment was offered by Reps. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kan.). Responding to the passage of the amendment, Credit Union National Administration (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica said that CUNA would be “compelled to oppose” the legislation, as “a basic premise of the credit union movement is to never be divided against itself in any way.” “A key principle of ours in approaching financial regulatory reform has been for examination authority to remain with credit unions’ primary regulator. We cannot support legislation that would apply this principle only to a portion of the nation’s credit unions, as envisioned in this amendment,” Mica added. Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has indicated that he is willing to discuss this issue between mark-up and floor consideration. Mica said that CUNA would “have no choice but to oppose” the CFPA bill if an “accommodation cannot be reached on the substance of the CFPA bill as amended.” CUNA is working with legislators to produce additional amendments that would exempt credit unions completely or set an exemption threshold at a higher standard than that of asset size. CUNA has also circulated alternative language to the bill that would address credit union issues such as the CFPA's impact on examinations, enforcement, preemption of existing rules, and regulatory burden. The House Financial Services Committee will continue discussion and markup of H.R. 3126, which would seek to protect consumers of financial products through the creation of a powerful independent agency with extensive rulemaking, oversight, and enforcement tools, early next week, with a vote likely to occur on Wednesday. The Committee on Thursday approved the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009 by a 43-26 vote.

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