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N.C.s McHenry to chair House TARP subcommittee

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WASHINGTON (12/22/10)--Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has been named to chair the new House Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, beginning in January. McHenry was recently named chair by incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) McHenry in a statement said that he looks forward to leading the subcommittee’s charge “to bring transparency, openness, and solutions for the challenges facing our financial system.” Issa in the same release said that McHenry would help lead the committee’s interface with the financial services industry and “ensure that both government and private enterprises are held accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars.” McHenry, who has served as a congressman since 2004, is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. The North Carolina Credit Union League’s Senior Vice President of Association Services Dan Schline told NewsNow that McHenry has maintained a good relationship with credit unions both statewide and in his district, which includes Hickory, N.C. and other towns near Charlotte. “He’s certainly always accessible and willing to listen to our thoughts on issues of interest to credit unions,” Schline added.

Treasury finalizes iGo Directi deadline

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WASHINGTON (12/22/10)--The U.S. Treasury this week finalized a rule that will require all federal benefits that are filed on or after March 1, 2011 to be paid electronically via the Go Direct program. Those that currently receive paper checks will need to switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013, the Treasury added. The Treasury has also created a Go Direct public education campaign to provide information on the benefit payment changes and to inform recipients of how they can change to direct deposit via an online portal or a toll-free helpline. Treasury Fiscal Assistant Secretary Richard Gregg in a release noted that eight in 10 federal benefit recipients already use direct deposit. “Now millions of additional retirees, veterans and other Americans will also receive their money in the safest, most reliable way--electronically," he added. The change to electronic benefit distribution “will provide significant savings to American taxpayers who will no longer incur the annual $120 million price tag associated with paper checks and will save Social Security $1 billion over the next 10 years," Gregg added. Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits and other non-tax payments will be made via the Go Direct program. The Treasury has also promoted Go Direct as one of many ways that senior citizens and other individuals can protect their money from financial crimes such as check theft and fraud. For the Treasury’s release, use the resource link.

Bachus Wasserman Schultz join GAC lineup

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WASHINGTON (12/22/10)--Just weeks after becoming House Financial Services Committee chairman when the 112th Congress convenes, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) will be among the speakers addressing the thousands of credit union representatives in attendance at the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference. Bachus succeeds Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as head of the committee as the majority in the House changes to Republicans after the 2010 midterm elections. Bachus has announced new financial services committee members and other committee leadership appointees in recent weeks. A review of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and discussion of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill are among the issues that Bachus plans to take on when he takes over early next year. Bachus has said that he and his fellow new committee leaders are “ready to hit the ground running." Bachus, who joined the House of Representatives in 1993 and has served as the ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee for the past four years, has called credit unions "an integral part of our financial system" and has praised credit unions for their pro-consumer work and their straightforward credit practices. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) also has joined the GAC’s lineup of speakers. Schultz was one of 105 House members who earlier this year urged the financial regulatory reform conference committee to keep language on interchange fees out of the final comprehensive financial regulatory legislative package. The GAC will open with a performance by classic rockers Three Dog Night, and will also feature a keynote speech by "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III and political point-counterpoint between conservative commentator Mary Matalin and liberal Web leader Arianna Huffington. Political pundits and co-authors of The New York Times No. 1 best-seller "Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, Palin and McCain, and the Race of a Lifetime" Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, will also discuss their book, the historic 2008 and nascent 2012 presidential campaigns, and other pressing political topics during their GAC appearance. The GAC begins on Feb. 27. in Washington, D.C. To register for this year's GAC, use the resource link.

Inside Washington (12/21/2010)

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* WASHINGTON (12/22/10)--Large financial firms could be forced to award more than half of their executives’ pay as stock or deferred compensation, under a proposal under consideration by U.S. regulators (Reuters Dec. 21). The move would discourage the excessive risk-taking by giant companies that contributed to the financial crisis (The Wall St. Journal Dec. 21). The discussions among the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal banking agencies are a result of the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, which directs regulators to ban any bonus plan that “encourages inappropriate risks” at financial firms with more than $1 billion in assets …