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CURIA still counting Rep. Pearce signs on
WASHINGTON (12/20/07)—Credit union supporters continue to add their names to the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537) even as Congress zooms toward final adjournment for the year. Most recently, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) became the 142 official backer of the bill. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to be in close contact with House Financial Services Committee leadership about a hearing date for H.R. 1537, a bill intended to modernize the regulatory structure for credit unions to enable them to offer improved service to members.
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) met Dec 10 with New Mexico credit union officials and decided to sign on to CURIA. From left are U.S. New Mexico FCU CEO Jim Raquet, Pearce, Credit Union Association of New Mexico CEO Sylvia Lyon, New Mexico Energy FCU CEO Kathy Cranage, and CUANM Vice President of Governmental Affairs Juan Fernandez Ceballos. (Photo provided by CUANM)
As early as May this year, one of the bill’s chief sponsors, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif), said he had been assured of a hearing date by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank has since reiterated his intention to give the credit union bill a full hearing in the 110th Congress. Royce, together with Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), introduced the 2007 version of the credit union bill on March 15. CUNA Senior Vice President John Magill noted recently, "Bipartisan support for CURIA has been building rapidly in the 110th Congress and, thanks to the consistent efforts of credit unions and the leagues, that support keeps building even in the final hours of this session of the 110th Congress." Magill heads CUNA’s legislative affairs department. "CUNA continues to work for the broadest possible support for this important credit union legislation and will be encouraging leagues and credit unions to contact their federal lawmakers when they are home for the winter break," Magill has said. Two key provisions of CURIA would: implement a risk-based capital approach for credit unions to make it more closely resemble the current Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. capital standard for banks, and; raise the current threshold on credit unions' member-business lending to 20% of assets from the current 12.25%. The bill also proposes to clarify the 1998 Credit Union Membership Access Act to allow all credit unions, regardless of charter type, to serve those in underserved areas. The bill would also update the definition of an underserved area, incorporating definitions from the Community Development Financial Institutions Act and the New Markets Tax Credit.
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