WASHINGTON (11/30/10)--As the brief, year-ending lame duck session truly begins this week, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to closely monitor action in the House and the Senate to find an appropriate vehicle that could carry legislation that would increase credit unions’ ability to engage in member business lending (MBL). “The key, obviously, is to attach our provisions to something that will become law. Our efforts face procedural realities, and obviously the underlying bill that would serve to move MBL provisions must be one that can get through the Senate and be passed with at least 60 votes,” CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said. However, underscoring the uncertainty that generally accompanies a lame duck session, Donovan added that CUNA believes there is no more or less certainty surrounding credit union efforts to move MBL legislation than there is surrounding any other group’s legislative efforts. “No one knows what will happen in the Congress in the next few weeks,” he added. Congress could adjourn on Dec. 17, but the exact date that the 2010 congressional session will end on is still not known. CUNA is continuing discussions with Senate leadership regarding the MBL issue, and is also working elsewhere to broaden support both for the MBL legislation and other credit union issues. CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose added that grassroots pressure continues to build behind the MBL effort, saying that credit unions “have garnered more support” for pro-MBL legislation over the last six months. Credit unions will want to keep an eye out for several relevant hearings this week, beginning with a Wednesday Senate Banking Committee hearing entitled "Problems in Mortgage Servicing From Modification to Foreclosure." Treasury official Phyllis Caldwell, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo, acting Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Edward DeMarco, and acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh are scheduled to testify during the hearing. The Senate Finance Committee will also examine tax reform during a Thursday hearing on historical trends in tax income and tax expenses. Representatives from the Treasury, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Congressional Budget Office will testify during that hearing.