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Inside Washington (03/07/2011)
* WASHINGTON (3/8/11)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus said on Monday U.S. House lawmakers will wait for the Senate to offer changes to the Federal Reserve’s interchange proposal. Bachus (R-Ala.), speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute of International Bankers in Washington, said House members wanted assurance that the Senate would move to change the law as well (Bloomberg.com March 7). The House committee’s decision to wait for the Democrat-controlled Senate to act may delay legislative activity on the rule. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), who introduced the proposal under the Dodd-Frank Act, said he will block efforts to change that provision of the regulatory law. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair have questioned whether the proposal’s exemption for financial institutions under $10 billion in assets would make community banks and credit unions less competitive … * WASHINGTON (3/8/11)--During the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference, in Washington, Minnesota credit union leaders spent an afternoon on Capitol Hill urging (members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to join credit unions in their efforts to better serve American consumers. Interchange has been a concern for the state’s credit unions since December when the Federal Reserve Board released its proposed rule to reduce interchange fees by an estimated 70%. Advocates stressed to elected officials that even though most credit unions are technically exempt from the proposed rule, it will affect Minnesota credit unions’ ability to offer affordable checking products. For this reason, credit unions urged Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation to support measures that would allow Congress to stop, study and start over on the interchange issue. Minnesota credit unions also asked members of Congress to co-sponsor a bill that would increase credit unions’ member business lending (MBL) cap from 12.25% of total assets to 27%. The MBL increase would generate an additional $180 million in small business loans and nearly 2,000 jobs in Minnesota, according to CUNA. Prior to Hill visits, Minnesota legislators attended a luncheon and issues briefing coordinated by the Minnesota Credit Union Network. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, shown here, (D-Minn.) keynoted the luncheon and commended credit unions for their role in the economy … * WASHINGTON (3/8/11)--A free webinar on Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance funding, hosted by the SBA and Agility Recovery Solutions, will be held at 2 p.m. ET March 15. Representatives from SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will explain how the disaster loan program works, how an SBA declaration is made, details on the application process, and tips on managing a swift recovery. A question and answer session will follow. SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery Solutions, which is also a CUNA Strategic Services Provider, to offer business continuity strategies for entrepreneurs via their “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access previous webinars and for more preparedness tips.


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