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CUs CUNA prep for 112th Congress
WASHINGTON (1/5/11)--With the 112th Congress set to start later today, credit unions, state credit union league representatives, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) are moving to meet with incoming and returning members of Congress. After the Congress convenes at noon, the House of Representatives will elect the Speaker of the House, swear in Representatives and approve officers and a rules package. The House will also begin the process of electing Members to standing committees, including the House Financial Services Committee, on Wednesday, and will likely remain in session on Thursday and Friday. CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said that the House should be in session sporadically through the end of the month, but will likely avoid discussion of any large scale legislation until after President Barack Obama has completed his state of the union address later this month. The Senate will also be sworn in today, and may take up a new rules package that could include proposals related to the filibuster and secret holds later today. Member business lending will be one focus during the upcoming Congress, following up on many recent attempts to move the legislation both as an amendment and a standalone bill. The MBL cap legislation, which is sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and has several Senate cosponsors from both major parties, would lift the cap to 27.5% of a credit union’s total assets, and could create up to $10 billion in new funding for small businesses. This untapped source of funding would create over 100,000 new jobs at no cost to taxpayers. CUNA this week also asked members of Congress to hold hearings on the Federal Reserve’s recently proposed interchange fee regulations, and urged the Fed to delay implementation of the new rules until the Congress can complete a full discussion of the rules with all parties involved. (See related 1/4/11 story: CUNA: Hearings on Fed interchange proposal needed)

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