WASHINGTON (12/19/13)--While the budget deal approved by the Senate on Wednesday does not directly impact credit unions, it could help speed issues like tax reform along when Congress returns in early January, Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on a recent episode of NBC's "Meet the Press" encouraged viewers to pay attention to the House Ways and Means Committee in the first quarter of next year. "The House will continue to pursue tax reform in 2014. And Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of the Finance Committee shows no signs of slowing down in the release of his tax reform proposals," Donovan noted.
Tax policy writers on Capitol Hill had intended to launch into tax reform and prepare for a vote during this past Fall, but tax reform fell by the wayside as other issues came to the fore.
"Congress is still miles from an agreement on comprehensive tax reform, but we know that important decisions on issues like the credit union tax status and others are being made in these early stages of tax reform, so even if Congress doesn't complete tax reform next year, our efforts now will help put us in a good position when Congress is closer to completing the process," Donovan said. CUNA continues to encourage credit unions and their members to use CUNA and state credit union league resources, social media sites including Facebook, and micro-video site Vine, to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"
Another 2013 priority, housing finance reform, has missed a deadline and will also have to wait until 2014, Donovan noted.
The Senate Banking Committee has been very active on this issue this year, holding more than one dozen hearings on the matter. However, committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said their progress was pushed back somewhat by the government shutdown.
CUNA has been involved in the Committee's discussion, providing advice and testifying at hearings in July and November. "Our read of the Committee is that there is an intense interest in getting housing reform done properly, as opposed to getting it done quickly, because consequences of enacting a bad bill are severe. We now expect a new bill to be released early in the new year, and it is possible that a banking committee mark-up could occur shortly thereafter," Donovan said.