Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Supports Appropriations Bill being Considered by the Senate
Posted July 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the Senate is considering a four-bill appropriations “minibus.” Included is the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, as passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 21, 2018.  This legislation includes CUNA-supported funding of $250 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.  This account is fully funded at Fiscal Year 2018 levels, an achievement in this austere fiscal climate.  The House passed counterpart to this week’s Senate bill includes $248 million for the CDFI Fund.  We remain confident that the Senate position on CDFI funding will prevail in the final funding bill for fiscal year 2019. 

Yesterday, CUNA sent a letter of support for this bill to the Senate leadership.  We expect this bill to clear the Senate this week and a House-Senate conference committee to resolve the differences between the two bills later this year. 

This legislation also includes CUNA-supported funding of $2 million for the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.  This is same amount received by the Fund in Fiscal Year 2018 levels, a significant achievement in this austere fiscal climate. 

The bill also funds other accounts of importance to credit unions, including: 

  • $30 billion loan volume cap for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) program, which allows the government to guarantee up to 85% of loans, with the guaranteed portion not counting against credit unions’ cap on member business lending.  The loan cap in this bill is $1 billion more than Fiscal Year 2018’s enacted level of $29 billion. 

  • $7.5 billion loan cap for the SBA’s 504 loan program, which is used for long-term, fixed-rate financing on major fixed assets, such as equipment and real estate.  Credit unions also participate in this loan program. 

The bill’s report language also contains a number of other items of interest to credit unions, including: 

  • FinCen Money Laundering. — Urges FinCen to continue to work closely with the Department of Justice to combat money laundering through U.S. financial institutions.

  • IRS Data Security Protections. — The Committee directs the IRS to brief the Committee within 90 days on the IRS’s efforts to protect personally identifiable information of minors. 

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019.  The bill funds critical government programs and includes numerous regulatory relief provisions for credit unions and banks.  This bill continues to build upon CUNA’s Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation

The House Fiscal Year 2019 bill provides many regulatory relief provisions that would benefit credit unions.  It includes: 

  • A two year delay to the effective date of the NCUA’s risk-based capital rule, from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2021. 

  • The Mortgage Choice Act, which specifies that neither escrow charges for insurance nor affiliated title charges shall be considered "points and fees" for purposes of determining whether a mortgage is a "high-cost mortgage."  A high-cost mortgage designation restricts the terms of the loan and requires a lender to make certain unnecessary disclosures to the borrower.  As H.R. 1153, this legislation passed the House earlier this year by a vote of 280 – 131.  As part of H.R.10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, this bill passed the House last year by a vote of 233 – 186. 

  • The Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act, which would exempt a financial institution, under specified circumstances, from the requirement to annually disclose its privacy policies to consumers.  As H.R.2396, this bill passed the House late last year by a vote of 275 – 146. 

  • The Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, which would enhance the rights of financial institutions and reduce unnecessary and burdensome features that accompany the federal financial examinations of banks and credit unions.  As H.R.4545, this bill passed the House in March by a vote of 283 to 133.  As part of H.R.10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, this bill passed the House last year by a vote of 233 – 186. 

  • The TRID Improvement Act, which would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to allow the accurate disclosure of title insurance premiums and any potential available discounts to home-buyers.  As H.R.3978, this bill passed the House in February by a vote of 271 – 145.  As part of H.R.10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, this bill passed the House last year by a vote of 233 – 186. 

  • The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection–Inspector General Reform Act, which would establish an independent Inspector General at the BCFP, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  As part of H.R.10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, this bill passed the House last year by a vote of 233 – 186. 

  • A provision to place the BCFP under the appropriations process starting in fiscal year 2020.  As part of H.R.10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, this bill passed the House last year by a vote of 233 – 186. 

  • A provision giving the president the authority to remove the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. 

  • A provision to require congressional review of BCFP rulemaking.  This provision would require the BCFP to submit proposed rules for congressional review.  Non-major rules would go into effect after submission to Congress, while major rules would require a joint resolution of approval before going into effect.