Removing Barriers Blog

House Members Request Spending Bill Contain CUNA-Supported provisions
Posted March 22, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

On March 16, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) held a hearing to review the FY 2017 budget request for the U.S. Treasury Department. 

Members of Congress sent letters to the subcommittee and asked that several CUNA-supported policy provisions be included in the FY 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.   

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) requested that the Subcommittee include language that expresses the sense of Congress that the CFPB use its statutory exemption authority to ensure its rulemakings do not adversely impact the ability of credit unions and small banks to provide affordable and safe financial services products.  Stivers was joined by 328 fellow members of Congress earlier this month requesting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) use its exemption authority to ease the regulatory burden on credit unions.  Stivers cited that letter in his request. 

In another letter sent to the Subcommittee, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and 13 of his colleagues requested that the Subcommittee include a safe harbor from the CFPB’s qualified mortgage “ability-to-repay” rule for loans held in a credit union or bank’s portfolio.  This request would add the language from the CUNA-supported Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 1210).  That bill passed the House with a bipartisan 225-174 vote in November of 2015.  The letter noted that the text of H.R. 1210 was also included in a section of the Senate’s FY 2016 FSGG appropriations legislation and Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) regulatory relief bill. 

Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, requested that the FSGG Subcommittee include language in their appropriations bill to require a mandatory exemption for credit unions from all CFPB rules; raise the credit union member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets; and, allow safe harbor for QM loans held in portfolio. 

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) also requested that the FSGG Subcommittee include language in their appropriations bill to require a mandatory exemption for credit unions and small banks from all CFPB rules.  He has also introduced H.R. 3048, a bill that would achieve the same purpose. 

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) asked for the inclusion of a number of measures, including one that includes several sections of the CUNA-supported Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 1233).  Those provisions allow for an increase in the CFPB’s small services exemption to 20,000 loans per year, up from 5,000 loans per year; and exempt higher-priced mortgage loans from certain appraisal requirements.   

In another letter, Reps. Cresent Hardy (R-NV) and Steve Knight (R-CA) wrote the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, requesting that it include language that would prohibit the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its proposed changes to federal overtime rules.   

As this year's budget and appropriations process proceeds, CUNA will continue its efforts to encourage lawmakers to include meaningful regulatory reform for credit unions in these "must-pass" pieces of legislation.