Removing Barriers Blog

The Week Ahead in Washington - April 24, 2017
Posted April 24,2017 by CUNA Advocacy

Check the Calendar… It’s Not Groundhog Day… Stop me if you’ve heard this before:  The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.  You may recall the House’s failed effort to pass a new healthcare law last month, but they’re back at it again this week after weeks of negotiations between leaders in the House, Senate and the White House.  Here is why it is important to us:  time on the House floor is valuable, and unexpected changes to the calendar tend to have a butterfly effect on other priorities.  If consideration of this legislation takes much time it may displace or delay other matters, including financial regulatory reform legislation. 

Shutdown Watch:  Federal government funding expires on Friday at midnight. So, Congress is under the gun to enact a new resolution to fund the government past this deadline, and hopefully to the end of the fiscal year (September 30).  We are aware that negotiators made a great deal of progress over the last fortnight but the White House has come in at the last-minute demanding funding for a southern border wall.  Democrats have threatened to filibuster any funding bill that includes certain priorities of the president, including funds to pay for an enhanced wall on our southern border.  Democrats are also seeking funding for Obamacare subsidies.

Why It Matters to Credit Unions:  One issue of concern to credit unions in this process is funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.  In FY2016, the CDFIF was funded at $233.5 million.  CUNA, its state partners, individual credit unions, and concerned credit union members, have engaged in a large lobbying and grassroots effort to convince Congress to fully fund the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund as part of this bill.  CUNA is also advocating the retention of report language that was included in last year’s House-passed Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (H.R. 5485).  This language would direct the CFPB to report to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee on how it has used its section 1022 exemption authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to tailor its rulemakings to community financial institutions.

ON THE FLOOR

In addition to health care and appropriations bills, the House has scheduled votes on H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 as well as H.R. 1694, the Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017.

The Senate will vote on the confirmation of former-Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia to be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture as well as Rod Rosenstein of Maryland to be Deputy Attorney General.

IN COMMITTEE

As usual, we are engaged in several committee meetings on both sides of the Capitol including the following:   

WEDNESDAY

  • The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold a hearing on “Reviewing the Unintended Consequences of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.” CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions will submit a letter for the record of this hearing.
  • The House Financial Services Committee will hold a full committee markup of the Financial CHOICE Act.  CUNA will submit a letter for the record of this hearing.

THURSDAY

  • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "Countering Russia: Further Assessing Options for Sanctions."
  • The House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance will hold a hearing on “Safeguarding the Financial System from Terrorist Financing.”