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Whats ahead in Congress this week
WASHINGTON (3/31/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is monitoring numerous hearings this week that are of interest to credit unions. CUNA also is keeping an eye on mortgage bankruptcy provisions in H.R. 1106, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. “We believe there is a desire among Senate leadership to move this legislation when the Senate reconvenes in mid-April,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs. “We oppose the bill that passed the House and we are working to mitigate the effect that this legislation would have on credit unions if it were to become law.” CUNA continues to discuss the legislation with Senate leaders and moderate Democratic and Republican offices. H.R. 1106 also would make permanent the $250,000 deposit insurance coverage limits, extending the period of time within which National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) must replenish the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, and increase the NCUA's borrowing authority. CUNA expects, based on conversations with committee and leadership staff, that H.R. 1106 will be the vehicle for NCUA’s legislative proposal aimed at reducing the immediate cost of the corporate stabilization premium on credit unions. On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Troubled Asset Relief Program oversight. The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology also will hold a hearing, “Do the Payment Card Industry Data Standards Reduce Cybercrime?” On Wednesday, the Senate Small Business Committee is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing for Karen Mills to be administrator of the Small Business Administration. The House Judiciary Committee also will meet on several pending financial crimes bills including the “Fight Fraud Act of 2009” [not yet introduced]; H.R.1292, to amend Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Sts. Act of 1968; H.R.1667, the “War Profiteering Prevention Act of 2009”; the “Financial Crimes Resources Act of 2009”; the “Money Laundering Correction Act of 2009”; and H.R.78, the “Stop Mortgage Fraud Act.” On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law will hold a hearing entitled, “Are Credit Cards Bankrupting Americans?” The House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit also is expected to meet on H.R. 1214, the Payday Loan Reform Act of 2009. CUNA is analyzing this bill and discussing it with its sponsor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), chairman. CUNA may file a statement for the record of this hearing. A previously scheduled mark-up in the House Financial Services Committee on H.R. 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009, has been postponed to a date to be determined. Congress also will mark up two bills dealing with the Truth in Lending Act and abusive credit card practices (SEE RELATED: Congress to mark-up TILA, abusive card bills this week).

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