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CU relief bills sail through House vote
WASHINGTON (5/7/14)--Three credit union regulatory relief bills were adopted by the U.S. House by voice vote last night. The bills, two of which are stand-alone credit union measures, are all important steps in the Credit Union National Association's larger relief agenda and attack credit union regulatory burden from a number of fronts.
 
CUNA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs John Magill last night said the significance of the legislative development cannot be overstated. 
 
"It is important for credit unions to note that two of these bills are credit union stand-alone bills. They passed the House on their own merits, not as part of a big roundup of many stakeholders' legislative agendas. Credit unions, the state credit union associations and CUNA have taken their regulatory burden story to Capitol Hill, and federal lawmakers are listening to us," Magill noted.
 
He added, "CUNA and credit unions thank House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and House leadership for guiding these bills through House passage at a time when so few bills are seeing congressional action.
 
"We also thank the chairman and other key lawmakers for working so closely with CUNA and credit unions to make this happen."
 
Under suspension of the rules, these CUNA-backed bills were passed:
  • H.R. 3584, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act, introduced by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio). This bill corrects a drafting error in the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) Act thereby allowing state-chartered, privately insured credit unions to join the FHLB system. The change would give 132 privately insured credit unions across the country additional opportunities to provide mortgage credit to their members, CUNA has noted.
  • The Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act (H.R.  3468). Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced this bill to provide National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) coverage for trust accounts,  such as Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTAS) and other similar accounts. CUNA backed this bill as necessary because the National Credit Union Administration has interpreted that the Federal Credit Union Act does not permit it to extend such coverage.  H.R. 3468 would provide parity in the insurance treatment of trust accounts offered by credit unions with the treatment of similar accounts offered by banks.
  • H.R. 2672, which grants credit unions and other lenders greater input into rural-area designations made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rural county designations determined by regulators can impact the types of products credit unions may offer their members in those areas, and CUNA maintains that any time credit unions can gain an additional opportunity to provide input into the process, they should do so.
When bills are considered under suspension of House rules, it dictates that no amendments can be added during the consideration process and the bills must have enough lawmakers support to pass by a two-thirds vote. Prior to Tuesday night's vote, CUNA contacted each member of the House, urging them to pass the three credit union relief bills.

Next the Senate must consider these bills.  If adopted in that chamber, the bills move on to President Barack Obama's desk to be signed into law.
 
CUNA is also a strong proponent of credit union regulatory relief measures that are scheduled for votes by the House Financial Services Committee today. Use the resource link to read more on those bills.
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