WASHINGTON (4/23/14)--White House officials requested an exclusive meeting with the Credit Union National Association Tuesday and CUNA leaders discussed credit union priorities regarding housing finance reform policy issues.
The meeting with CUNA was one of a series the White House scheduled with top financial industry trade associations and other key stakeholders, held in advance of a scheduled April 29 markup by the Senate Banking Committee of its extensive housing finance reform bill. CUNA has also participated in recent White House meetings with groups of stakeholders.
The Tuesday meeting involved members of the White House Interagency GSE Reform Working Group.
CUNA underscored at the meeting that the top three issues for credit unions are:
The bill's regulatory burden on credit unions;
Ensuring that the housing finance market remains accessible to credit unions and other smaller institutions; and,
Giving credit unions representation in governance of the new federal entities envisioned under the proposal.
CUNA reminded that restructuring the system is "unchartered and untested" territory and therefore raises numerous questions regarding fees and functionality when applied to the real-world marketplace.
Representing CUNA at the meeting were President/CEO Bill Cheney, Chief Economist Bill Hampel, General Counsel Eric Richard, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan, and Assistant General Counsel for Special Projects Robin Cook joined in the meeting.
The Senate Banking Committee bill was drafted by its chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), and its ranking Republican member, Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho). It is currently the focus of a drive by its authors to build unshakeable bi-partisan support before the panel considers the draft.
Reports have circulated in recent weeks that the April 29 markup could be delayed, but it is widely believed that a vote will occur next week.
Also this week, CUNA Housing Finance Reform Task Force member Bill O'Brien, from Suffolk FCU, Medford, N.Y., is invited to a meeting on housing finance reform today with Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.