Removing Barriers Blog

The Week Ahead in Washington - September 5, 2017
Posted September 05,2017 by CUNA Advocacy

A busy week is expected on Capitol Hill as lawmakers return from their states and districts to work on the first of many supplemental appropriations bills to provide disaster funds to cope with the disastrous situation from Hurricane Harvey.  Currently, we do not have any details and have not seen preliminary framework as to what this legislation will look like, but it will be the priority of both the House and Senate this week.  Committees on both sides of the Capitol are conducting very little on the committee level to avoid distractions from Harvey assistance. 

As expected, the credit union movement has come through to help our friends and neighbors in storm ravaged Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere.  As of Thursday afternoon, the National Credit Union Foundation’s CU Aid and the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation collected more than $500,000 to support the needs of employees and volunteers of credit unions.  Roughly $100,000 has come in through the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation with the remaining contributions having been made to CU Aid.  Additionally, 18 phase one $1,000 disaster relief grants have already been approved by the Cornerstone Foundation, 15 of which have already been funded.  CUNA , along with CUNA Strategic Services, is donating $50,000 to Harvey relief efforts through CUAid, the National Credit Union Foundation’s disaster relief system.  Further aid is still needed -- please click here to help! 

This week

The House is expected to move forward with an ambitious schedule to pass eight remaining appropriations bills this week, sending the final government funding bills for fiscal year 2018 to the Senate.  The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to pass two more appropriations bills this week with intentions to finish all 12 bills before the end of the month.  Both the House and Senate are expected to pass a continuing resolution to fund government operations at a static level until December 15th or 22nd.  The first Harvey supplemental spending package and perhaps a hike in the federal debt ceiling may be attached to this continuing resolution.  We expect the Senate Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee to pass its FY18 spending bill next Tuesday (12th) with the full Committee following suit on Thursday (14th). 

On the House floor this week, all eight remaining FY2018 appropriations bills are expected to pass in eight divisions of one bill.  Well over 1000 amendments are expected to be considered by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The FSGG bill will be considered by the Rules Committee on Wednesday.  On the floor, FSGG is expected to be the third of the eight divisions considered.  CUNA, along with our League partners, will continue to wage our fight against the provision in the House FSGG bill that will subject NCUA to the appropriations process.  In short, credit unions can expect to pay more in examination fees and assessments if the NCUA is subject to the appropriations process.  The NCUA, as well as the NCUSIF, have operated reasonably well for decades without this dramatic and potentially damaging move by Congress.  We are working with Members of Congress to remove the provision from the House bill.  We do not expect the provision to be in the Senate FSGG bill. 

HEARINGS

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance will hold a hearing entitled, “Low Cost, High Impact: Combating the Financing of Lone-Wolf and Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks.”  The subcommittee will explore the patterns and techniques used to fund lone-wolf attacks and what additional controls financial institutions and law enforcement officials should consider to address them. 

Thursday will be much busier as the Senate Banking , Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will vote on Administration nominees.  In addition, the Committee will consider S. 1463, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act.  Finally, the Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Evaluating Sanctions Enforcement and Policy Options on North Korea.” 

Also on Thursday, the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime.”  The subcommittee is expected to consider six bills: 

  • H.R. 1849 (Rep. Trott), the Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017 
  • H.R. 2359 (Rep. Loudermilk), the FCRA Liability Harmonization Act 
  • H.R. 3312 (Rep. Luetkemeyer), the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act of 2017 
  • H.R. ____ (Rep. Royce), the Facilitating Access to Credit Act 
  • H.R. ____ (Rep. Tenney), the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act 
  • H.R. ____ (Rep. Hill), the TRID Improvement Act of 2017 

Finally, the House Financial Services Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.”  Members of the subcommittee are expected to discuss FINRA’s current regulatory agenda. 

We will keep you updated as we receive more information and as new developments occur in what will be a hectic week on Capitol Hill.  Thank you for all you do for the credit union movement!