WASHINGTON (1/27/09)--WASHINGTON (1/27/09)--This week will be a short one for Congress, but it's packed with credit union interest--including votes on an economic stimulus bill and bankruptcy legislation. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will monitor the meetings of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee as they mark up provisions of the Senate version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—the stimulus package. The House is expected to consider the legislation on Wednesday. CUNA also will monitor the House Judiciary Committee as it marks up H.R. 200, Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009. The bill carries a provision that would allow bankruptcy judges to change—or “cramdown”—a borrower’s mortgage terms. “We believe that the significance of the mark-up of the House version of the cramdown legislation on Tuesday is to give House leaders the ability to show that this legislation has received complete committee consideration," said Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs. "However, it also gives those concerned about the legislation an opportunity to attempt to improve the bill before it is considered by the full House, either on its own or as a part of a larger bill. We have been working closely with several offices that oppose the bill to identify areas where the legislation needs significant modification," he added. In a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and the panel’s ranking member, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), CUNA said it opposes adding the legislation to a stimulus package. CUNA identified several changes that it wants before the bill proceeds through the legislative process. This week CUNA also will monitor:
* The Senate Banking Committee's hearing on the Madoff Investment Securities case on Tuesday; * The House Financial Services Committee's meeting on Tuesday to meet and approve the committee rules for the 111th Congress, and elect members to subcommittees; *The Senate Budget Committee's Wednesday hearing on the federal response to the housing and financial crisis; and *The Senate Budget Committee's Thursday hearing entitled, "The Global Economy: Outlook, Risks and Policy Implications."
No votes are expected in the House Thursday and Friday due to a Republican conference retreat.