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Inside Washington (03/12/2008)
* WASHINGTON (3/13/08)--Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) and Members 1st FCU staff met with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to update him on the success of the Credit Union Better Choice Program, a payday lending alternative, during the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference last week in Washington, D.C. (Life is a Highway March 7). PCUA staff also met with Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) prior to his address at the conference’s general session ... * WASHINGTON (3/13/08)--Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Republican presidential candidate, said he is opposed to a government bailout for lenders who were affected by the subprime mortgage market debacle. “It is not the government’s role to bail out investors who should understand that markets are about both return and risk, or lending institutions who didn’t do their job. It’s important that managers and investors are held accountable for their own decisions,” he said in a press release ... * WASHINGTON (3/13/08)--During a hearing Tuesday, Alphonso Jackson, Housing and Urban Development secretary, said he and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) are scheduled to meet with Senate members regarding the finalization of a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reform bill (American Banker March 12). The Senate’s version of the bill would increase the mortgage limits the FHA could insure by about 15%, while the House version would increase the limits to $729,500 ... * WASHINGTON (3/13/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion will meet March 19 to discuss saving and asset-building opportunities for individuals and banks. The committee will hear from experts addressing asset building for low- and moderate-income individuals, strategies for building assets, and the FDIC’s role in asset building. Last year, Norb Kaczmarek, president/CEO of Erie (Pa.) FCU and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) chairman, presented information about PCUA’s Better Choice Program, a payday lending alternative ... * WASHINGTON ( 3/13/08)--More than 125,000 entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding a business have used the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) new online assessment resources in just three months, the SBA announced Wednesday. The Small Business Readiness assessment tool is intended to help interested individuals evaluate their readiness for starting a small business. Based on their scores, entrepreneurs are then directed to the SBA training resources that support identified needs to improve business preparedness…


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