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Removing Barriers Blog

CHOICE 2.0: Hearing Held and Mark Up Scheduled
Posted April 27, 2017 by CUNA Advocacy

Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to discuss the CHOICE 2.0 Act. Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Members Waters outlining the position of America’s credit unions on this legislation.

As anticipated, the hearing was very partisan and repetitive. The Republican majority highlighted the need for a repeal of Dodd-Frank due in part to overly burdensome regulations, the CFPB and its structure, and the high cost of compliance which is promoting the consolidation of community financial institutions and credit unions. On the other side, the Democrats continued to promote and protect the Dodd-Frank Act and its intended goal to shield Americans from the need of another financial bailout.

While there were not many surprises during the hearing, a number of Committee members did highlight the need to differentiate small community financial institutions and credit unions from the big banks that caused the financial crisis. Some consistent themes were:

  • Banks and credit unions are consolidating due to the compliance and regulatory burdens inflicted by the CFPB and Dodd-Frank. The one-size-fits-all regulations are not working for American consumers.
  • The community financial institutions are the ones making credit available to their local communities, not the big banks.
  • The CFPB needs to be held accountable and use their 1022 Exemption Authority to lessen the regulatory burden on small community financial institutions and credit unions.

Next Steps 
On May 2nd, the Committee is scheduled to hold a Mark Up on the CHOICE 2.0 Act. However, there are government funding issues that could potentially impede the timing of this hearing. Ranking Member Waters has also has requested a “Minority Day” Hearing. While her request was noted, it has not been established whether or not it will happen prior to next week’s scheduled Mark Up.

CUNA continues to advocate on behalf of America’s credit unions and their 110 million members for common-sense regulatory reform. Today’s hearing was the first step in a complex process to pass legislation reducing the regulatory burden on credit unions so they can more fully serve their members. As this and other legislation moves through the legislative process, CUNA will be in constant contact with staff and Members of Congress in both the House and the Senate to ensure the legislation ultimately enacted into law meaningfully reduces credit unions’ regulatory burden and maintains important consumer protections.