Removing Barriers Blog

The Week Ahead in Washington - December 4, 2017
Posted December 03,2017 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 477, the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017; H.R. 3971, the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2017 and H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. 

The Senate is expected to continue its consideration of judicial and executive branch nominations.  

Funding for the federal government will expire on Friday.  We expect House and Senate leadership to craft a short term “Continuing Resolution” to fund the government.  This is intended to give Congressional leadership more time to craft a long-term compromise on a bill to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2018 (September 30, 2018). 

Earlier Saturday morning, December 2, 2017, the Senate passed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, which would cut taxes by roughly $1.5 trillion over ten years and would make significant changes to and simplify our nation’s tax laws.  The full House of Representatives passed its tax reform bill last month.  Now negotiators from both chambers will meet in earnest to craft a compromise bill that can pass both bodies before the end of the year. 

Both the House and Senate bills would not alter or eliminate the credit union federal income tax status in any way!  This is a huge victory for the credit union movement and an affirmation by the United States Congress of the value proposition of the credit union difference.  This was accomplished against the unified opposition and lobbying force of America’s banks and their $17 trillion in assets! 

The original Senate bill included provisions that would have imposed new Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) requirements on credit unions and the trade associations like those that represent credit unions.  This provision would have imposed UBIT on logo and royalty income that many credit unions and others depend upon … income that is actually in direct relation to their exempt status.  CUNA opposition resulted in this provision being eliminated from the final bill. 

Also last week, the House Republican leadership told members that they should be prepared to vote on a Motion to Go to Conference on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, at approximately 6:30 PM on Monday.  This is to be followed by a vote on the Democrat Motion to Instruct Conferees at approximately 8:00 PM. 

In Committee 

Tuesday 

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a markup to consider S.2155, to promote economic growth, provide tailored regulatory relief, and enhance consumer protections, and the nomination of Jerome H. Powell, of Maryland, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 

Wednesday 

The House Financial Services Committee Housing and Insurance Subcommittee will hold a hearing on sustainable housing finance reform.  Specifically, this hearing will explore the role of credit enhancements and credit risk transfers in the U.S. housing finance system. 

Thursday 

The House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing to receive annual testimony from the Director of the Office of Financial Research. 

The House Financial Services Committee Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing to consider the following legislative proposals: 

·        H.R. 4464, Common Sense Credit Union Capital Relief Act of 2017 

·        H.R. ____, Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act of 2017 

·        H.R. 2570, Mortgage Fairness Act of 2017 

·        H.R. 3179, Transparency and Accountability for Business Standards Act

·        H.R. 3746, Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act of 2017