Removing Barriers Blog

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

Lots of heat and drama will make this a busy week in Congress.  The House is expected to recess for five weeks once it has completed its work for the week.  The Senators will be in session an additional two weeks before they leaves for their August recess.  The House has passed all twelve government funding appropriations bills out of Committee while the Senate lags far behind.  The House will consider the “Make America Secure Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2018.”  This bill actually includes four of the twelve appropriations bills:  

  • Department of Defense Appropriations Act 

  • Legislative Branch Appropriations Act 

  • Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 

  • Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 

However, we have received some late-breaking “news” that the House may pivot back to its original plan of considering all twelve appropriations bills in one omnibus bill this week.  Stay tuned!  In addition, the House will consider H.J.Res. 111, Providing for Congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection relating to “Arbitration Agreements.”  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) has issued an anti-consumer and CUNA-opposed rule that effectively bans pre-dispute arbitration clauses in favor of class action lawsuits.  This resolution, H.J.Res. 111 is provided for under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and was introduced by Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Vice-Chair Keith Rothfus (R-PA).  If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the resolution would nullify the CFPB’s rule and prevent the CFPB from issuing any similar rule relating to arbitration in the future.  It is certain to pass the House this week and be considered in short order by the Senate.  Your CUNA team is working to make this resolution’s enactment a reality.  

The Senate will vote on the confirmation of David Bernhardt to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior and will also vote on the motion to proceed to the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (H.R. 1628).  This is known as the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare. 

Late last week, we received wonderful news from the NCUA.  It announced that the agency plans to reorganize its operations.  The agency will consolidate the five regional offices into three by closing the Albany, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia offices and eliminate four of the agency’s five leased facilities.  NCUA will also: 

  • Create an Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion by redefining and realigning chartering and field-of-membership, credit union development, grants and loans, and minority depository institutions programs 

  • Restructure the Office of Examination and Insurance into specialized working groups 

  • Realign the Asset Management and Assistance Center to include changes to the servicing business model and moving to a financial supervisory structure. 

We commend Chairman McWatters for his efforts to modernize agency operations by finding efficiencies and eliminating redundancies.  We look forward to continuing to actively engage with the Chairman as he continues to drive the agency towards reducing regulatory and examination burdens for credit unions.   


IN COMMITTEE 

TUESDAY 

The House Financial Services Committee will consider the following legislation: 

  • H.R. 1624, the “Municipal Finance Support Act of 2017” 

  • H.R. 2864, the “Improving Access to Capital Act” 

  • H.R. 3110, the “Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act” 

  • H.R. 3321, the “National Strategy for Combating Terrorist, Underground, and Other Illicit Financing Act” 

  • H.R. 3326, the “World Bank Accountability Act of 2017” 

  • H. Res. 442, Of inquiry directing the Secretary of the Treasury to provide certain documents in the Secretary’s possession to the House of Representatives relating to President Trump’s financial connections to Russia, certain illegal financial schemes, and related information. 

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a markup to consider the nominations of J. Paul Compton, Jr., of Alabama, to be General Counsel, and Anna Maria Farias, of Texas, and Neal J. Rackleff, of Texas, both to be an Assistant Secretary, all of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Richard Ashooh, of New Hampshire, to be an Assistant Secretary, and Elizabeth Erin Walsh, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, both of the Department of Commerce, and Christopher Campbell, of California, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. 

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing: Oversight and Reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission 

WEDNESDAY 

The Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will hold a hearing called the “Review of the FY2018 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.”  The Subcommittee will review the FY2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of the Treasury with the following witnesses: 

  • The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury 

  • The Honorable John Koskinen, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service 

  • The Honorable J. Russell George, Inspector General, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration 

The House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing called, “Protecting Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks: the Cybersecurity Insurance Option” 

THURSDAY 

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing in which U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will deliver annual testimony on the State of the International Financial System. 

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the following nominations: Mr. Joseph Otting, to be Comptroller of the Currency, of Nevada; Honorable Randal Quarles, to be a Member, Reappointment as a Member, and Vice Chairman for Supervision, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System