WASHINGTON (2/3/09)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will be monitoring legislative action on the floors of both chambers of the U.S. Congress. In the Senate, debate is expected to begin on the House-passed economic stimulus bill. In the House, the stimulus package was opposed by Republicans. The Senate bill is expected to contain changes that give it more of a bi-partisan flavor, however passage is expected still to take some time. This week CUNA also will be following:
* Senate Banking Committee hearing to examine modernizing the U.S. financial regulatory system on Wednesday. Among those expected to testify is Paul Volcker, who heads the President’s Economic Recover Advisory Board and is a former Federal Reserve Board chairman; * Senate Banking Committee hearing to examine TARP-- the Troubled Asset Relief Program, focusing on oversight of the financial rescue program Thursday; and * House Financial Services Committee hearing today on “Promoting Bank Liquidity and Lending Through Deposit Insurance, Hope for Homeowners and Other Enhancements.”
In addition to these hearings, the House Financial Services Committee is expected to consider legislation to make permanent the $250,000 deposit insurance coverage limits that were enacted on a temporary basis in October 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. No action is likely this week on H.R. 200, the “Helping Families Save Their Home Through Bankruptcy Act” though it appears to be edging closer to a final vote. This so-called “mortgage cram-down” bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week. Some amendments were adopted at that time, but CUNA remains opposed to the proposal, and continues to encourage sponsors in the House and Senate to narrow the scope and duration of the program.