Removing Barriers Blog

Hearing Held with Treasury Secretary for Update on Domestic and International Policy
Posted May 19,2017 by CUNA Advocacy

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing titled “Domestic and International Policy Update,” with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin as the solo witness.  During the hearing, Members discussed the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, housing finance reform, financial regulation, community banks and credit unions, and tax reform.

During the hearing, a number of Committee members, including Chairman Crapo, referenced last week’s hearing where they discussed Housing Finance Reform with Mel Watt, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  In addition to housing finance questions, financial regulatory reform was a hot topic with Members and the Secretary.  

A few specific highlights include:

  • Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) asked the Secretary about funding levels for the CDFI Fund.  The Secretary acknowledged the program, but argued the President’s budget prioritizes military spending instead.  Last week, Menendez circulated a Dear Colleague in support of the CDFI Fund.
  • Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) asserted that he believes the CFPB is an unaccountable regulator and called on the Secretary to work with Congress to reform the CFPB.
  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) promoted and asked questions about regulatory reforms for small community financial institutions. 

CUNA appreciates the Committee for considering how financial regulatory and housing finance reform should be integral parts of the President’s domestic policy agenda. CUNA met with Treasury officials in April and sent a follow-up letter and recommendations to the Secretary.  CUNA will continue to push both Congress and the Administration to promote and protect the interests of credit unions large and small during these important debates.