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News Now

Washington
House Hearing on CU Reg Relief Set for March 6
WASHINGTON (2/28/08)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will be among those testifying at a hearing on regulatory relief options for credit unions that the House Financial Services Committee has planned for March 6. The full-committee hearing’s focus will be on the need for credit union regulatory relief and improvements. Major discussion is expected to be devoted to the provisions in the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act, H.R. 1537, introduced by Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.). CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said Wednesday that the scheduling of a hearing during a heated election year in which major issues are being discussed nationally shows how credit unions have become front and center in the minds of Congress. “While we have the attention, we will take the opportunity to make our cases for greater regulatory relief for credit unions, particularly in the areas of expanding business lending to members, granting more flexibility in net worth requirements and allowing all types of credit unions to serve underserved areas,” Mica said in announcing the hearing. He added, “While we realize there are no guarantees, a hearing does serve to build further support in Congress for our legislative goals and enhances the likelihood Congress will take action on credit union legislation.” CUNA Vice Chairman Tom Dorety, CEO of Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla., will testify for CUNA. Other groups expected to testify include the National Credit Union Administration, the National Association of State CU Supervisors, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and a banking industry representative. “This is a very positive development,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president, legislative affairs. “It is the first time in nearly five years the House Financial Services Committee has focused exclusively on ways to provide credit unions with regulatory relief, giving our issues great visibility before this key committee and positioning us well for future action.” Donovan said the steady momentum behind CURIA, which now has 143 cosponsors as the result of the CU system’s grassroots lobbying efforts, created impetus for the hearing, which takes place on the final day of CUNA’s 2008 Governmental Affairs Conference. Both CURIA chief sponsors Royce and Kanjorski will be speaking at the GAC. Donovan also said the regulatory improvements likely to be discussed at the hearing will not be limited to those in CURIA. “We expect to discuss additional ways Congress can provide regulatory relief to credit unions,” he said. “New ideas will be put on the table and we look forward to having that discussion with committee members.”


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