WASHINGTON (4/30/14)--An expected Tuesday markup of housing finance market reform legislation has been postponed to allow Senate Banking Committee members more time to consider the issue.
"As all of the Members already know, there continue to be important discussions to build a larger coalition supporting the bill. While we have the votes to report the bill out today, Members of the Committee have asked for a brief delay to try to work out additional issues prior to a final vote," Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said on Tuesday.
Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said the delay is likely "about trying to find additional votes to get the bill out of committee with a strong vote."
The committee will reconvene to discuss the bill in the coming days, Johnson said. Whether this brief delay bodes well for the bill depends largely on whether the sponsors are able to cobble together the three or four votes that they would like to get, and how quickly they are able to do that, Donovan said.
In the meantime, CUNA is monitoring the situation and trying to improve areas of the bill where there are still outstanding issues.
The 425-page bill, known as the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014 (S. 1217), would overhaul the housing finance market and address the issues created by the current government ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The bill ensures that credit unions and community banks, "experts at meeting the financial needs of our communities, have clear and competitive access in the new system," ranking committee member and bill co-sponsor Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said Tuesday.
CUNA has advocated for credit union priorities on several fronts, including meetings with White House officials, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt and members of Congress. In these meetings, CUNA has encouraged policymakers to be mindful of the existing regulatory burdens of credit unions and other mortgage servicers, and to avoid layering additional regulatory authority on top of existing regulatory regimes that address mortgage servicing.