Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA writes to House leadership before floor consideration of FSGG appropriations legislation
Posted July 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote two letters to Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader McCarthy (R-CA) this week.  The first was in support of the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

The bill contains CUNA-supported funding for the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF), two important grant programs for credit unions.

The letter also thanked the Speaker and Minority Leader for including the CUNA-requested emergency appropriation of $1 billion for the CDFI Fund in the House-passed HEROES Act.

For the second letter, CUNA joined forces with other financial trade associations representing institutions in every state urging House leadership to reject the inclusion of a postal banking provision in the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for FY2021. An amendment offered by Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) would provide $2 million to the U.S. Postal Service for postal banking pilot programs throughout the United States.

“Although we appreciate—and strongly support—efforts to increase financial inclusion across the country, we are deeply concerned that allowing the U.S. Postal Service to provide banking services will be beyond the Postal Service’s core competencies, will raise a number of serious regulatory and consumer protection questions, and could leave consumers less protected than they would be at a regulated financial institution,” the letter reads.

The letter notes the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Postal Service’s own reports that acknowledge the USPS’s “narrow expertise and capital limitations” mean it should not expand its offerings into areas “where balance sheet risk might arise.”

The organizations also note their support for postal reform to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, but note postal banking is “not an acceptable solution.”