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Washington
Eyes on reg reform debates chances in Senate this week
WASHINGTON (4/27/10)—While the U.S. Senate on Monday did not approve officially beginning debate on financial regulatory reform, with a cloture vote failing, Senate leaders will continue to negotiate portions of the bill and will push to begin debate this week. S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, would affect the credit union system by limiting the National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) regulatory authority to credit unions with under $10 billion in assets. The regulatory reform package would also address many issues facing the broader financial services industry. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has lobbied Congress not to limit the NCUA’s oversight of credit unions, regardless of asset size. CUNA has also asked legislators to narrow the legislation's definition of remittances. CUNA is concerned that the current "overly broad" definition would essentially make it impossible for credit unions to continue to offer any form of international electronic fund transfer services to their members. The Senate may debate a Food Safety bill if the regulatory measures are not brought to the floor this week. Several hearings are also scheduled this week, with the House Financial Services Committee setting up markups of legislation that would alter the National Flood Insurance Program, among other items. The House Judiciary Committee will also address financial issues on Wednesday by holding a hearing on H.R. 2695, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009, with the Electronic Payments Coalition, of which CUNA is a member, set to testify. H.R. 2695, which was offered by Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) last year, would permit merchants to negotiate fees with financial institutions via an antitrust exemption. The House Financial Services Committee will also be busy on Wednesday, with various subcommittees holding hearings on legislative proposals to preserve public housing, reviewing the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network oversight reports, and promoting small enterprises in Haiti. The role of banks and the U.S. Treasury in the housing market will also be discussed in a Senate Committee session this week.


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