WASHINGTON (1/28/14)--A vote on legislation that would delay National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) fee increases by four years is one of many Capitol Hill happenings credit unions will want to watch out for this week.
The new U.S. Senate NFIP bill (S. 1926) would also correct some issues in the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which extends the NFIP until Sept. 30, 2017.
Senators were scheduled to vote on a motion to proceed with debate on S. 1926 last night. A vote on the full bill could happen this week.
The Credit Union National Association is closely watching the progress of an amendment that may be offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) related to force-placed insurance. The amendment, in its current form, would prohibit lenders from receiving any kind of fee or reimbursement in connection with insurance they purchase on behalf of a borrower who lets the insurance lapse.
"We have significant concerns with this amendment, and we have expressed these concerns to the sponsor and other members of the Senate Banking Committee," CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said.
Other items of interest this week include:
A Tuesday House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's semi-annual report, during which CFPB Director Cordray will testify;
A Wednesday Senate Banking economic policy subcommittee hearing on the annual report and oversight of the Office of Financial Research; and
A Thursday Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Karen Dynan to be assistant U.S. Treasury secretary.
CUNA will also monitor a Tuesday Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to be ambassador to China. Baucus is chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee and has been central to recent tax reform efforts, and his nomination adds an element of uncertainty to the future of tax reform efforts. However, Donovan notes, "tax reform isn't about one person.
"The circumstances which have made tax reform necessary continue to exist, and we expect Congress to continue to try to make progress on tax reform this year," Donovan said.