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This week in Congress: McWatters' hearing postponed, patent 'trolls'on Thurs. schedule
WASHINGTON (3/4/14)--The congressional calendar this week has a number of items of interest to credit unions, although timing could possibly be subject to change due to Washington digging out from another winter storm.

For instance, today's scheduled nomination hearing for J. Mark McWatters to become a National Credit Union Administration board member has been postponed. A new date has not been set.

Nominations at today's Senate Banking Committee's hearing were to include McWatters; Stanley Fischer, as a member and vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board; Jerome Powell, as Federal Reserve Board governor; Lael Brainard, as a Fed governor; and Gustavo Aguilar, to be an assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee will meet to markup S. 2049, the Transparency in Assertion of Patents Act, which is supported by the Credit Union National Association.

The bill would grant the Federal Trade Commission greater authority to require patent "trolls"--who present deceptive patent demand letters and pursue frivolous patent litigation--to include more information about the patents they dispute in demand letters. CUNA will submit a letter of support to the committee.

Also on today's congressional committee agenda:
  • The House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations will conduct a hearing on "The Growth of Financial Regulation and its Impact on International Competitiveness" ( News Now March 3); and
  • The House Science, Space, and Technology subcommittee on research and its subcommittee on technology will hold a joint hearing on whether technology can  protect Americans from international cybercriminals.
Among scheduled Wednesday hearings are:
  • The House Financial Services Committee subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit on "Data Security: Examining Efforts to Protect Americans' Financial Information,"  ( News Now March 3), which will feature law enforcement and technical experts. CUNA will submit a letter for the record of this hearing; and
  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a full committee hearing on "The President's FY2015 Budget."
On Thursday:
  • The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a full committee hearing on "The President's FY2015 Budget Proposal."


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