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LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Washington Archive

Washington

CUNA: Don't Miss Out On 'DontTaxMyCU Tuesday'

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WASHINGTON (7/22/13)--Maximizing the power of social media to make a single-day punch for credit unions in advance of a Senate deadline for tax reform recommendations is the drive behind 'DontTaxMyCU Tuesday,' a Twitter event sponsored by the Credit Union National Association and the state credit union leagues.
 
July 26--this Friday--is the deadline for senators to submit their tax reform proposals to Finance Committee leaders, who will then take those suggestions, their own ideas, and much more to create a comprehensive proposal for a new U.S. tax code.
 
To impress on senators the message "Don't Tax My Credit Union," CUNA and the leagues are mounting a campaign on Twitter tomorrow--Tuesday, July 23-- in which all credit unions and their supporters are asked to tweet "#DontTaxMyCU," aimed at their lawmakers in both the Senate and the House.
 
"Tuesday is a terrific opportunity to get everyone to send one tweet or one Facebook post to their senators and House members, reminding them that we are paying attention to their actions," Trey Hawkins, vice president of CUNA political affairs, said. "We have had a constant stream of support for the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign since we launched--and this is the next step in taking that support to the next level of activism."
 
The initiative intends to utilize the credit union community's growing presence on social media to instantly enforce a final unified message to Capitol Hill that a tax on credit union would be a tax on their 96 million member-owners.
 
"Even if you have used social media efforts in the past to support the 'Don't Tax My CU' campaign, please do it again on Tuesday to magnify the impact," Hawkins added.
 
For example, Hawkins said, a tweet could be as simple as "Please #DontTaxMy CU @ (Twitter handle of your senator here) #DontTaxTuesday."
 
Credit unions and individuals can participate by tweeting to their senators and congressmen using the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag, or posting on Facebook by including the senator or representative in a post by typing the "@" sign and then typing the lawmaker's name. 
 
A tweet also can be personalized. For example: "I was able to get a mortgage through my #creditunion b/c it's more affordable. #DontTaxMyCU @Senator(name here) #DontTaxTuesday".
 
For more on the campaign, use the links below to read the current issue of The Cheney Report and to access the Donttaxmycreditunion site.

NEW: GSE-reform PATH Act Is Offcially Introduced in House

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WASHINGTON (7/22/13, UPDATED 4:15 p.m. ET)--The Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners--or PATH--Act, unveiled by House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on July 11, has now been formally introduced in the House.

It was introduced by Rep. Scott Garrett, a Republican representing New Jersey.
 
The housing finance reform bill, now H.R. 2767, was subject to a Financial Services Committee hearing last week and is scheduled for markup starting tomorrow morning at 10:15 a.m. (ET).
 
During last week's hearing, it was clear that there was a partisan divide regarding support for the bill. Republican committee members mostly hailed it as the way to "create a sustainable housing finance system." Many Democrats expressed worry that it would kill availability of the traditional 30-year, fixed rate mortgage for many Americans.
 
Also on housing, on the Senate side, Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a Senate Banking subcommittee on the topic of  "Creating a Housing Finance System Built to Last: Ensuring Access for Community Institutions."

Committee To Vote On Housing Finance Reform Bill This Week

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WASHINGTON (7/22/13)--The House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a mark-up session for the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act of 2013 for Tuesday, to begin at 10:15 a.m. (ET).
 
It was a discussion draft of that legislation that was the subject of the committee's hearing last Thursday. 
 
Although the bill had not yet been formally introduced by its author, House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), as of this writing, it will be before the mark up session proceeds. The mark up session is expected to last two days.
 
During last week's hearing, it was clear that there was a partisan divide regarding support for the bill.  Republican committee members mostly hailed it as the way to "create a sustainable housing finance system." Many Democrats expressed worry that it would kill availability of the traditional 30-year, fixed rate mortgage for many Americans.
 
The Credit Union National Association supports regulatory relief provisions found in the draft language, but has preliminary concerns on behalf of credit unions regarding some provisions of the PATH Act. For example, CUNA has serious concerns that the PATH Act may not provide credit union members with a sustainable secondary market that can provide the necessary liquidity and structure that will ensure the continuation of long-term, fixed-rate mortgage products.

CUNA is scheduled to testify this week before a Senate Banking subcommittee on the topic of  "Creating a Housing Finance System Built to Last: Ensuring Access for Community Institutions."
 
The hearing, called by the subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment, is scheduled for 90 minutes starting at 3 p.m. (ET).

Also on the Senate side, The Hill reported in one of its newsletters that a compromise bill to reduce federal student loan interest rates could get an early vote on the Senate floor.

CFPB Reports Fin. Ed. Efforts To Congress

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WASHINGTON (7/22/13)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made its first report to the U.S. Congress last week to detail what the bureau has done since its inception in 2011 to promote consumers' financial literacy.
 
"Empowering people to take more control over their economic lives is absolutely essential to our mission" of providing consumer financial protection, newly confirmed CFPB Director Richard Cordray says in an introduction to the report.

The 58-page document notes that the bureau's approach to consumer financial education is three-pronged:
  • Make sure people have the help they need, when they need it. It cites "Ask CFPB" as an example of a resource that "provides unbiased answers to commonly asked questions" about personal finance;
  • Research and identify financial education methods that work to inform the design of financial education policies and programs; and
  • Collaborate with other groups to apply and fine-tune the best approaches to financial education. The CFPB has conducted more than 300 stakeholder meetings, including those with the Credit Union National Association and credit unions. 
Use the resource link to access the full report.
 

 

NEW: 'Don't Tax Tuesday' Detailed In New CUNA Video

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WASHINGTON (7/22/13, UPDATED 2:24 p.m. ET)--Credit unions and their members are urged to ignite their advocacy efforts tomorrow on "Don't Tax My CU Tuesday" and light up the social media world to get their message across, says today's edition of  "Inside Exchange," the Credit Union National Association's video dialogue on the credit union movement's hottest topics.

Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs, tells viewers that social media is the "new frontier" on Capitol Hill for reaching lawmakers, and its smart use goes far to bolster the effort to support the credit union tax status as policymakers considered tax reform measures.



"Every Senate office has a Twitter presence and 90% of House members have a presence on Twitter," Hawkins says.  And unlike traditional communications through mail or email or phone massages that often are monitored by a lawmaker's staff, most senators and House members monitor their own Twitter or Facebook accounts.

"With social media, your message goes straight to your target," Hawkins says.
CUNA and the state credit union leagues have set tomorrow--July 23--as "Don't Tax My CU Tuesday"--a day to maximize the power of social media to make a single-day punch for credit unions in advance of a Senate deadline for tax reform recommendations.

July 26--this Friday--is the deadline for senators to submit their tax reform proposals to Finance Committee leaders, who will then begin to build legislation to create a comprehensive proposal for a new U.S. tax code.
 
Already credit union advocates have sent more than 440,000 "Don't Tax My Credit Union" messages to Congress through the CUNA system alone--and not counting social media contact.

"Tomorrow is a terrific opportunity to get everyone to send one tweet or make one Facebook post--or one more tweet or Facebook post for those who have already done so--to really make an imnpact: To tell their senators and House members that a tax on credit unions is a tax on their 96 million member-owners," Hawkins says.

Hawkins suggest a tweet can  be as simple as "Please #DontTaxMyCU @ (Twitter handle of your senator here) #DontTaxTuesday." He notes credit unions and individuals can participate by tweeting to their senators and congressmen using the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag, or posting on Facebook by including the senator or representative in a post by typing the "@" sign and then typing the lawmaker's name.

NEW: Sen. Brown (D-Ohio) Outlines Upcoming Overdraft Bill

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WASHINGTON (7/22/13, UPDATED 1:30 p.m. ET)--Legislation that aims to prevent financial institutions from reordering account deposits and withdrawals to maximize the amount of overdraft fees that may be charged to accountholders was announced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) today.

The senator outlined the bill, which has not been introduced in the Senate, at a press conference in Cleveland. "Banks should play by the rules instead of purposefully 'reordering' their customers' debit card transactions so that they profit while consumers rack up costly penalties," he said.

Brown's bill, which is still being finalized, would also:
  • Give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau authority to monitor banks overdraft practices;
  • Allow that agency to establish fair guidelines to protect consumers, as well as credit unions and banks that treat members and customers well; and
  • Ensure that financial institutions clearly post transactions in an easy to understand format.
Under the bill, the CFPB would also offer safe harbor to financial institutions that follow any new CFPB overdraft guidelines.

For the full release, use the link.