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Washington
Congress this week Overdraft returns in Senate maybe in House
WASHINGTON (11/17/09)--Overdraft legislation will return to the Hill this week, with the Senate Banking Committee holding a Tuesday hearing on overdraft protection programs. The Federal Reserve late last week released an overdraft rule that would require credit unions and other financial institutions to obtain consent from consumers before they could be charged overdraft fees for ATM and one-time debit transactions. CUNA has said that while the Fed rule "may present compliance challenges for certain credit unions," the Fed rule does not present the same challenges or restrictions that are included in either the House or Senate overdraft legislation. Specifically, CUNA has expressed concern over portions of Dodd’s bill which would impose a proportional fee structure on overdraft fees and limit the number of overdraft transactions that a consumer could make to one per month and six per year. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will submit a statement for the record, but will not testify at the hearing, which will include testimony from the Center for Responsible Lending’s Eric Halperin and Pentagon FCU President/CEO Frank Pollack, among others. The House Financial Services Committee could also begin overdraft discussion this week, although it is not on the schedule at this time. The House Committee is set to resume its markup of H.R. 2609, the "Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009", H.R.3996, the "Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009," and H.R.3904, the "Overdraft Protection Act," on Tuesday. The committee is expected to begin the session by considering H.R. 3996, and this weeks’ committee discussion may be limited to the systemic risk bill. Returning to the Senate, the Dodd-led Banking Committee is expected to begin consideration of the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2009," which would provide many comprehensive reforms of the financial regulatory system, on Thursday. However, the Thursday hearing is only expected to include opening statements from Senators, and the real work of modifying the bill may not begin until late November, at the earliest, and may not kick off until the first week of December, according to CUNA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan.
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