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CUs must keep August heat on advocacy efforts CUNA
WASHINGTON (8/6/12)--With the U.S. Congress's August recess beginning this week, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has called on credit unions to make sure credit union issues are at the forefront of legislators' minds as they campaign in their home districts.

All members of the U.S. House, and one-third of sitting Senate members are facing November reelection campaigns, and will have more on their minds, and schedules, than usual, CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose said. Credit unions should make sure that any face time they can schedule with their legislators is time well spent, he added.

CUNA has counted around 150 scheduled town halls, spread among several states, and credit unions and leagues should keep an eye out for any meetings scheduled in their area. In-district meetings are also being held in several states.

Member business lending (MBL), supplemental capital access and examination fairness remain key concerns for credit unions.

Here is an update on the status of those concerns:

  • MBL cap increase bills in the U.S. House (H.R. 1418) and Senate (S. 2231) enjoy strong support from Democratic and Republican legislators. Both bills would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, from 12.25%. CUNA has estimated this increase would create 140,000 jobs and inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy during the first year after enactment. Both benefits would come at no cost to taxpayers. Senate leadership remains committed to a floor vote on the MBL legislation;
  • House and Senate examination fairness bills (H.R. 3461 and S. 2160) would make information gathered by financial regulatory examiners available to financial institutions and codify certain examination policy guidance. The bills would also establish an ombudsman at the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC), and establish an exam appeals process that would allow financial institutions to air grievances before an independent administrative law judge. Both bills have been referred to their respective financial institution committees;
  • H.R. 3993, which would modify the definition of credit union net worth to include supplemental forms of capital for credit unions, has been referred to the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit.

A bill that would help eliminate frivolous lawsuits by removing dual ATM disclosure requirements, H.R. 4367, passed the House last month, but the Senate has not yet acted on the legislation. CUNA continues to work with members of Congress to move the ATM legislation toward a vote.

The House and Senate are scheduled to return to Washington in early September.


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