Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA writes to House leadership prior to vote and passage of HEROS Act
Posted May 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Earlier this week, the House released CARES 2 -- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act of 2020.  Prior to the scheduled consideration on the House floor, CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy sharing concerns and feedback on the legislation.  The House passed the latest round of COVID-19 stimulus legislation by a vote of 208-199.

“House passage of the HEROES Act starts a process for a new round of recovery legislation intended to help consumers, small businesses and the economy in general weather and rebuild from the crisis,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We were happy to see a number of the provisions that will help credit unions remain in a position to serve their members and communities, but we were disappointed that the legislation includes several provisions that would actually make it more difficult for consumers and small businesses to access safe and affordable financial services.”

CUNA supports the following provisions:

  • CUNA An emergency appropriation of $1 billion to the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which CUNA calls for in earlier engagement on the bill. However, CUNA also feels the bill misses an opportunity to provide emergency appropriations for NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund;
  • CUNA and its members appreciate the bill’s clarification to previous COVID-19 relief legislation, including enhancements to the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit and making clear that federal credit unions are eligible to participate in this credit as well as in a previous bill’s paid sick leave and family leave payroll tax credits;
  • CUNA supports two new payroll tax credits in the legislation, one to provide relief for businesses and fixed costs, one to help with employee benefit expenses;
  • Inclusion the of the text of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act, which would offer protections to financial institutions serving legal, cannabis-based businesses;

CUNA is also concerned with:

  • The prohibition on certain debt collection activities for 120 days after the end of the declared emergency;
  • Several provisions affecting credit reporting during the pandemic, including suspending most negative credit reporting and requiring adverse information be excluded from consumer credit reports;
  • No provisions extending the expansion of NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility;
  • The absence of any provisions adding flexibility or exemptions to the statutory credit union member business lending cap. House and Senate bills exempting business loans from the cap for one year after the pandemic have been announced, and NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood supports raising the cap to 20% of assets (up from the current 12.25%).

CUNA and Leagues will continue their engagement as the Senate puts together its package, with a priority to include additional beneficial policy proposals to help small businesses and communities not included in the House legislation.