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Coming up in Congress Bernanke on the economy
WASHINGTON (6/2/09)—Although no finance-related legislation is expected this week, discussions in Congress should pick up midweek, with a pair of House Financial Services Subcommittees and the Senate Banking Committee set to hold hearings on issues that are of interest to credit unions. The Wednesday House schedule will feature Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke’s input on the current economic troubles, with the Fed chair set to testify at a 10 a.m. hearing before the House Budget Committee. Another early hearing, entitled "Remittances: Regulation and Disclosure in a New Economic Environment," will be held before the House subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The World Council of Credit Unions recently predicted that continuing economic instability could lead to a drop in the total number of remittances to the Caribbean and Latin America. (See related May 21 story: Expect decline in remittances for 2009.) Later on Wednesday, the House subcommittee on capital markets, insurance, and government-sponsored enterprises, will discuss the current and future condition of government-backed mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with academic and industry reps and officials from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, including current director James Lockhart. On Thursday, Fannie Mae President/CEO Herbert Allison will face the Senate Banking Committee as they hold confirmation hearings for the potential assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability. If confirmed, Allison would administer the Federal Government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday could also vote on S. 257, the Consumer Credit Fairness Act, which would grant increased relief to debtors by altering current federal bankruptcy law.

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