WASHINGTON (8/5/13)--In a 232-183 vote that mostly broke down along party lines, the U.S. House just before breaking for its August recess Friday passed a bill that would require both chambers of the Congress to approve any federal rule that would bring with it a cost of $100 million or more.
Although a companion bill to the House's "Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act" has been introduced in the Senate, Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan noted Friday that the very partisan nature of the bill puts its future squarely into question.
Still, Donovan added, the discussions generated by the bills are important.
"This bill is symbolic recognition that Congress understands that many industries face what the credit union industry faces--a crisis of creeping complexity with respect to regulatory burden," he underscored.
"As the vote suggests, the legislation is quite partisan and because of that it is unclear that the legislation will be considered by the Senate.
"Nevertheless, CUNA and credit unions will continue to work with Congress to produce bipartisan legislation that provides meaningful regulatory relief for credit unions," he noted.
As Donovan noted in a July 31 article in American Banker (News Now Aug. 1), many see regulatory relief for smaller financial institutions as one of the few items that can gain bipartisan approval in a log-jammed Congress this year.
He warned, however, that, to go forward, any relief measure that addresses both credit unions and small banks must contain benefits that are balanced for both parties.