Removing Barriers Blog

Keeping member credit unions and leagues current on what and why we are doing for advocacy efforts including legislative, regulatory and state governmental affairs.
Posted July 29, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives is in recess and will return September 4, 2018. 

The Senate is in session this week and will consider: 

•The nomination of Britt Grant to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit  

•The four-bill appropriations ‘minibus’ (including the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019) 

•A four-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program 

•The National Defense Authorization Act conference report 

Posted July 27, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) recently closed comments on the last outstanding request for information (RFI) it issued earlier this year as part of a comprehensive review of its operations.  Since then, the Bureau has continued to engage in efforts to solicit feedback and get more detail on the comments it received during the process.  Yesterday, the BCFP published a blog post voicing its commitment to engage stakeholders. 

Posted July 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA board will consider a risk-based capital proposed rule, among other items on the agenda for its August 2nd meeting. The board did not meet in July.

The meeting will start at 10 a.m. (eastern) on August 2, and live video will be streamed on NCUA.gov.

The complete agenda is:

  • 2018 Mid-Session Budget;
  • Continuation of Federal Credit Union Loan interest rate ceiling;
  • Final rule on suspension and debarment procedures;
  • Proposed rule, Part 701, loans to members; and
  • Proposed Rule, Part 702, risk-based capital.

Posted July 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act without a provision CUNA fought to exclude that could have negatively impacted credit unions on military bases. CUNA successfully fought for removal of Section 2808 of the House bill, which was removed in the conference report of the bill

Section 2808 of the House version of NDAA was intended to treat Federal or State chartered insured depository institutions equally with respect to the financial terms of leases, services, and utilities. Unfortunately, its definition of “insured depository institutions” excluded credit unions.

Posted July 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Ways and Means Committee released a two-page outline referred to commonly as “Tax Reform 2.0”.  As expected, it proposes to make permanent the new and lower tax rates for individuals and closely held corporations included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  There are retirement proposals included as well as broad proposals to help innovation and start-up businesses.  The document suggests allowing startups to write off more expenses as well as “remove barriers to growth.”  It is likely that legislative text will be released in September followed quickly by Committee consideration and finally a vote by the full House of Representatives, most likely near the end of September or in early October. 

This bill will likely not have any direct positive or negative effects on credit unions.  Credit unions do have some concerns related to last year’s tax law as it relates to tax exempt organizations.  These concerns include our concerns related to the new excise tax on executive compensation and the new tax on nonprofit fringe benefits.  The vehicle for successfully addressing these concerns will likely be a tax technical corrections bill after the fall elections. 

Posted July 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House passed legislation that will extend the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) funding an additional four months, through November 30th.  CUNA strongly supports this extension to prevent potentially significant disruption to housing markets in flood-prone areas of the country.

CUNA is pleased the House has voted to extend the NFIP for four months and hope the Senate will follow suit.  While CUNA encourages Congress to continue to work on a long-term solution to enhance affordability and sustainability of the NFIP and provide certainty to the market, this extension, upon Senate passage and enactment, will ensure credit unions in affected areas are able to continue serving their members’ mortgage needs.


Posted July 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held an oversight hearing of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Blackburn and Ranking Member Doyle urging them to press upon the Commission the need to revise its implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and create a robust, comprehensive reassigned numbers database to combat illegal robocalls from bad actors.

CUNA has consistently pressed upon the Commission the urgent need to modernize its approach to the TCPA. CUNA's efforts include filing a petition in September 2017 outlining how the FCC could provide credit unions with TCPA relief. Specifically, CUNA proposed several approaches the Commission could adopt to provide credit unions with greater ability to communicate with member-owners about information they want and need. 

Posted July 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate is considering a four-bill appropriations “minibus.” Included is the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, as passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 21, 2018.  This legislation includes CUNA-supported funding of $250 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.  This account is fully funded at Fiscal Year 2018 levels, an achievement in this austere fiscal climate.  The House passed counterpart to this week’s Senate bill includes $248 million for the CDFI Fund.  We remain confident that the Senate position on CDFI funding will prevail in the final funding bill for fiscal year 2019. 

Posted July 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Board agreed to propose a change regarding the effective date of the CECL (current expected credit losses) standard as it applies to credit unions and other non-Public Business Entities (non-PBE). 

Posted July 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and credit union league staff will join nearly 6,000 attendees in Los Angeles at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit.  Attendees include state legislators, legislative staff, government officials, business representatives, and others interested in public policy.

Posted July 24, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Nineteen state Attorneys General wrote to Attorney General Sessions urging clarity about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites.  Several of the signers signed onto the letter due to advocacy efforts by state credit union leagues.

Credit unions are cited in the letter as an example of an industry that has been targeted by frivolous ADA lawsuits and predatory demand letters.

“When it comes to web accessibility standards, the ADA does not provide clear guidance to the public or regulated entities,” the letter reads. “This void in the law has led to unnecessary lawsuits in an effort to exploit the law’s ambiguity for financial gain with little or no corresponding benefit to consumers.”

Posted July 24, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

A CUNA-led charge to remove language putting credit unions on military bases at a potential disadvantage was successful.  Section 2808 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2019 has been removed!  

Section 2808 of the House version of NDAA was intended to treat Federal or State chartered insured depository institutions equally with respect to the financial terms of leases, services, and utilities. Unfortunately, its definition of “insured depository institutions” excluded credit unions.

Posted July 23, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House and Senate are both in session this week.

Posted July 19, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate Banking Committee held a nomination hearing for Kathleen Kraninger - the President's nominee for Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP).  Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown in support of the nomination process and continued to urge Congress to support a bipartisan commission for the Bureau. 

Ms. Kraninger currently serves as associate director at the Office of Management and Budget, where she oversees the agencies responsible for border policy and coordinating disaster aid. 

In the letter CUNA wrote, "Stability of leadership and clarity of mission are critical features of any efficient and effective regulatory body.  Credit unions look forward to working with a new permanent BCFP Director, one that we hope will recognize the unique structure of credit unions and the enormous benefit credit unions provide to American consumers in need of financial services." 

Posted July 19, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

President and CEO of Alaska Federal Credit Union, Geofferey Lundfelt wrote to Senator Sullivan of Alaska regarding the Senate's work on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) FY 2019.

"Since 2006, the Department of Defense has had the discretionary authority to allow credit unions to utilize office space and/or land (including ATM placement) on military bases on a rent-free or nominal basis. Credit unions who wish to do so must meet specific statutory and regulatory requirements regarding the provision of financial services to the base population, and the decision as to whether or not to provide such space remains solely within the discretion of DoD. At this time, both Alaska USA and MAC Federal Credit Union serve service-members and their families at Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks under leases of this nature."

Posted July 19, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The House has passed H.R. 6147 - the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 by a vote of 217 - 199.  Prior to the vote, CUNA wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan and Ranking Member Pelosi in support of the legislation.

"We thank House leadership for passing regulatory relief measures that will greatly benefit credit unions," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "CUNA has maintained since NCUA first proposed the risk-based capital rule that it is a solution in search of a problem, so we support any legislative means to reduce the rule’s impact on credit unions."  

Posted July 18, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

S. 488, the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 406-4.  Included in the legislation was Title XVII of a House Amendment that would delay the risk-based capital rule finalized by the NCUA. CUNA supported this measure as it reduces the impact on credit unions by pushing the effective date from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2021.

Prior to the vote, CUNA wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in support of this legislation. 

Posted July 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined NAFCU, ABA, and ICBA in sending a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the adoption of Representative McHenry's amendment to the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill to prohibit the U.S.P.S. from providing banking services.


Posted July 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The government caretaker of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), created in in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as the housing market collapsed, violates the Constitution because it does not answer to the president, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled.

Posted July 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The National Credit Union Administration has announced it will issue dividends in 2018 during the week of July 23 for more than 5,700 eligible institutions.  

CUNA supported a transparent and equitable method for repaying credit unions and pushed for a temporary increase of four basis points in the fund NOL while the share insurance fund holds corporate legacy assets and continues to insist the increase that was adopted be only temporary and phased down to 1.3% by 2021 as the relative exposure of the legacy assets diminishe

Posted July 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Luetkemeyer and Ranking Member Clay prior to today’s House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit entitled, “Examining Capital Regimes for Financial Institutions.”   

In the letter CUNA suggested there are two steps Congress should consider with respect to credit unions’ capital regime:

1.    Delay the implementation of the NCUA’s recently finalized risk-based capital rule; and

2.    Enact legislation that permits all credit unions to issue supplemental capital instruments. 

Posted July 16, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Lance Noggle, CUNA Senior Director of Advocacy for payments and cyber-security represented credit unions in a cyber-security panel discussion that took place in Washington earlier today.  Noggle discussed why credit unions see data security as such an important issue and why the problems cannot be solved through technology alone. 

Posted July 16, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA will be hosting a Facebook Live event tomorrow - July 17th - to discuss how servicemembers, veterans and their families can spot and avoid imposter scams.  The Federal Trade Commission will be on hand to share some interesting data and resources.

The Facebook live event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. The discussion is part of the NCUA’s activities during Military Consumer Month, which runs during July. No registration is required, and there is no charge.

Posted July 16, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Four Members of Congress wrote to Armed Services Committee leadership in both the House and Senate urging for them to remove Section 2808 from the House version of the NDAA FY 2019 legislation.

This provision was intended to treat credit unions and banks equally with respect to the financial terms of lease, services, and utilities on military installations. Unfortunately, as currently written – due to a drafting error, this provision excludes credit unions from the definition of “insured depository institutions.”

Posted July 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House and Senate are both in session this week.  

The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 6147, the “Interior, Environment, Financial Services, and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019.”  It will also consider H.Con.Res. 119, a resolution “Expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.”  

The Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Scott Stump to be Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education.  Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture on the nominations of Randal Quarles to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.  If cloture is invoked on his nomination, the Senate will begin to use up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate time prior to his confirmation vote. 

Posted July 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA filed a letter with the Bureau on its request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding the Consumer Complaint Intake System.

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Bureau to facilitate the centralized collection of, monitoring of, and response to consumer complaints regarding consumer financial products or services. In furtherance of its statutory mandate related to consumer complaints, the Bureau utilizes a Consumer Complaint Intake System Company Portal Boarding Form (Boarding Form) to sign up companies for access to the secure, web-based Company Portal. 

Posted July 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and credit bureaus, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown requesting clarity and flexibility for the implementation of regulations and guidance under the FCRA.  

Posted July 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined other financial services trades today in sending a joint letter of support for S. 2490, the TRID Improvement Act of 2018, which would amend the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to allow for the disclosure of available discounts for lender’s title insurance policies. Under current law, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure does not allow for the disclosure of certain discounts that may be available to a borrower for selecting a specific title insurance company to underwrite title insurance when purchasing a home.

Posted July 11, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA launched a new online community this week for its Member Activation Program (MAP), a forum where credit union industry professionals can discuss advocacy issues, communications, best practices and exchange ideas and resources to better advocate for credit unions. The MAP Community is a free community for CUNA members, and it is available to all CUNA members.

Posted July 11, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Director Mulvaney named Brian Johnson as Acting Deputy Director at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.  Johnson currently serves as principal policy director at the bureau.

Johnson will replace departing Deputy Director Leandra English, who announced her resignation last week.

Posted July 09, 2018 by mcarew

CUNA’s Policy Analysis group recently updated and re-posted its white paper on the credit union tax status.  The paper reveals that the tax treatment Congress conveyed on credit unions roughly 100 years ago continues to serve the purpose for which it was created and is one of the best investments that the government makes in its citizens.  

Posted July 09, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The House and Senate are both back in Session this week.  

The House of Representatives will consider the “Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act” (H.R. 2075); the “ Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019” (H.R. 6237); the “Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017” (H.R. 50); the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act” (H.R. 200); and the “Reclamation Title Transfer and Non-Federal Infrastructure Incentivization Act” (H.R. 3281). 

The Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Mark Jeremy Bennett to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit and an Act to amend the” White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010” (S.140). 

Posted July 08, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Comment call by HUD available for comment.