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Introduction Of Miller's CU Relief Bill Is Imminent
WASHINGTON (6/17/13)--House Financial Services Committee Vice Chairman Gary Miller (R-Calif.) will soon unveil anticipated legislation that will open formal discussions in the U.S. House about possible regulatory relief measures for credit unions and community banks. The bill could be introduced as early as today.

Miller's bill will focus on credit unions and topics discussed within its section range from such things as enhancements to National Credit Union Administration authority in a few areas to improved capital standards for credit unions, to a cost-benefit analysis of rules, past and present.

"Credit unions wholeheartedly thank Rep. Miller for acting on their great need for regulatory relief so fewer resources are diverted from their true business of serving their members," said Sam Whitfield, Credit Union National Association vice president of legislative affairs. He added CUNA's appreciation that Miller included CUNA in the development of his legislation.

Miller's bill will join other CUNA-supported regulatory relief legislative initiatives already introduced in the House of Representatives, including:

  • The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act (H.R. 688),  which would permit business lending credit unions to apply to NCUA for the authority to lend up to 27.5% of their assets to small business members;
  • The Capital Access for Small Business and Jobs Act (H.R. 719), which would permit credit unions to accept supplemental forms of capital;
  • The Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act (H.R. 1553), which would bring fairness to the examination and examination appeals processes;
  • The Community Lending Enhancement And Relief Act (H.R. 1750), which would exempt credit unions from several of the Dodd-Frank mandated mortgage rules, including new escrow rules; and,
  • The Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions (H.R. 1862), which would permit privately insured credit unions to join a federal home loan bank.
 Miller's credit union bill will likely be joined by other regulatory relief legislative initiatives coming out of the financial services panel this year.

Other Financial Services Committee members are said to be preparing to offer bipartisan regulatory relief bills and are working to find for areas where credit union and community bank interests may intersect in a bill. CUNA has assured lawmakers that such areas exist; for instance, one such area is examination fairness legislation.

During a hearing in April, CUNA delivered a 35-point plan for credit union regulatory relief to federal lawmakers. Among changes promoted by CUNA are:

  • Increasing National Credit Union Administration budget transparency;
  • Adjusting the treatment of non-owner occupied one- to four-family dwelling loans for credit unions from business loans to residential real estate loans;
  • Increasing the maturity limit for higher education loans made by federal credit unions; and,
  • Expanding investment authority in credit union service organizations.

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