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, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Just a reminder that the final enrollment deadline for submitting applications to be eligible to use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new electronic Consent Based Social Security Number (SSN) Verification (eCBSV) service must be received by 6 pm EST on July 31, 2019.  Any credit union that is not selected for the initial rollout after submitting a valid application will be eligible to re-submit a full application and user agreement for the later expanded rollout. However, any credit union that chooses not to submit a valid application before the close of the July 31, 2019 deadline must wait until the next open enrollment period which could be up to a two-year wait.  Note that participation in the eCBSV is purely optional and is a business decision for each credit union.

Posted July 29, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Budget negotiations between the Administration and Congressional leaders bore fruit as all parties agreed to suspend mandatory discretionary budget cuts included in the Budget Control Act of 2011.  These spending cuts would have gone into effect starting September 30, 2019.  Negotiators also agreed to suspend the federal statutory debt ceiling through July 31, 2021.  Absent any agreement, the debt ceiling was expected to be breached later next month. 

The product of these negotiations was H.R. 3877, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, which passed the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon in a bipartisan vote of 284 to 149.  The Senate is expected to pass this legislation next week and the president has agreed to sign it into law. 

Posted July 29, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The House is in recess until September 9. 

The Senate is expected to consider nominations for the posts of the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Ambassador to the U.N.

Posted July 25, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act by a vote of 429-3. The bill, which is the latest attempt by Congress to curtail fraudulent robocalls, had been amended in recent weeks to address concerns that CUNA raised that the legislation would limit credit unions’ ability to reach their members for legitimate business concerns.

“We appreciate the improvements that were made to this bill through the committee process,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer. “We look forward to engaging lawmakers further to ensure that Congressional remedies don’t impede credit unions’ ability to communicate with their members.”

Posted July 25, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA submitted a letter to the FCC today regarding their proposed rule on robocalls. This rule would  establish a single, comprehensive database that would contain the most recent permanent disconnection date for toll free numbers and for each number allocated to or ported to each provider that receives North American Numbering Plan U.S. geographic numbers. It would also set a minimum aging period of 45 days before a permanently disconnected number may be reassigned to a new subscriber with a limited safe harbor from liability for any caller that relies upon inaccurate information provided by the database.

Posted July 24, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Today, CUNA filed a comment letter in support of NCUA's proposed rule on public unit and nonmember shares (referred to as nonmember deposits). The proposal would replace the current nonmember deposit limit of the greater of 20% of total shares or $3 million with a limit of 50% of the difference of paid-in and unimpaired capital and surplus, less any public unit and nonmember shares.

Posted July 24, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer of Maps Credit Union in Oregon testified on behalf of CUNA before the Senate Banking Committee.  Pross testified in support of the SAFE Banking Act which would protect financial institutions that serve cannabis businesses in places where it is legal.  

Oregon voted to legalize recreation cannabis in 2014 (and medical cannabis in 1998), and Maps subsequently conducted “extensive research and risk analysis” before voting to serve cannabis businesses.

Pross said Maps made this decision to: serve the underserved; and to enhance the safety of the community by getting large amounts of cash off the streets.

Posted July 23, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA filed a letter with NCUA in support of its proposal to delay the effective date of the risk-based capital rule until January 1, 2022. 

Posted July 21, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives may vote on a possible deal to raise the budget caps and the debt limit.  In addition, the House has scheduled votes on H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act; H.R. 2203, the Homeland Security Improvement Act; and H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. 

The Senate is scheduled to consider the nominations of Mark Esper to be Secretary of Defense and Stephen Dickson to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Posted July 18, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board issued a proposed IRPS regarding prohibitions imposed by section 205(d), adopted final rules on real estate appraisals and fidelity bonds, and approved its 2019 mid-session budget.

Posted July 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB issued an updated advisory for financial institutions on best practices for financial institutions when suspecting elder financial exploitation.  

The Bureau’s recommendations, first issued in 2016, provided six categories of “voluntary best practices” to assist financial institutions to prevent elder financial abuse. These best practices “include:

  1. Developing and implementing internal protocols and procedures for protecting account holders from elder financial exploitation;
  2. Training management and staff to prevent, detect, and respond to suspicious events
  3. Detecting elder financial exploitation by harnessing technology;
  4. Reporting all cases of suspected exploitation to relevant federal, state and local authorities;
  5. Protecting older account holders by complying with the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and Regulation E and by offering age-friendly services that can enhance protections against financial exploitation;
  6. Collaborating with other stakeholders such as law enforcement, adult protective services, and service organizations.”

Posted July 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the H.R. 3375, Stop Robocalls Now Act.  Prior to the Committee's markup, CUNA wrote in support of the bipartisan effort that produced H.R. 3375 and supporting the inclusion of language regarding notice and a complaint mechanism for opt-in, white-list call blocking, redress for erroneous call-blocking by the Federal Communications Commission, and cost protection for callers using the notice and complaint process for call-blocking services.  

Posted July 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer at Maps Credit Union in Salem, Oregon, will testify on behalf of CUNA at a hearing on cannabis banking conducted by the Senate Banking Committee. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23, starting at 10:00 a.m. (ET) and will be streamed live on the Committee's website.

Posted July 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to their review plan as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.  CUNA wrote in support of the CFPB conducting regular, robust reviews of its regulations with an eye toward reducing burden. The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to conduct a review of a rule ten years after final action, focusing on the rule’s economic impact on small entities.

According to the CFPB’s plan, it intends to initiate its review approximately one year before the 10-year deadline, and although not required by statute, the CFPB will also solicit feedback from stakeholders via public comment on the rule under review.

Posted July 17, 2019 by Chandler Schuette

The FASB Board discussed the issue of effective dates of several different standards as they apply to each type of reporting entity

Posted July 16, 2019 by Chandler Schuette

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of a credit union facing a frivolous lawsuit claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  CUNA filed an amicus brief in this case along with the Illinois and Wisconsin crdit union leagues. 

In its opinion, the 7th Circuit agreed with the district court that the plaintiff – who is ineligible for membership in the defendant credit union – has not suffered an injury-in-fact, as required to establish standing.  Throughout its opinion, the court cites Griffin, another cased decided in favor of the defendant credit union which was issued earlier this year out of the Fourth Circuit.  

CUNA and the state credit union leagues have been working with the Department of Justice to clarify this issue, and its efforts have led numerous legislators from the House and Senate to write to the DOJ calling for a solution. 

Posted July 16, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Yesterday, CUNA wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve Board regarding potential modifications to the Federal Reserve Banks' National Settlement Service (NSS) and Fedwire Funds Service to support enhancements to the same-day automated clearinghouse (ACH) service, which with NACHA rules changes will add a third daily processing window.

Posted July 14, 2019 by Chandler Schuette

This week, the House will consider several resolutions disapproving of recent sales of military equipment to certain foreign nations.  In addition, the House will vote on H.R. 3494, the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 as well as H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act.  Finally, the House will likely vote on measures to find the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce in contempt of Congress. 

The Senate will vote on a number of federal judiciary nominations as well as legislation aimed at replenishing the fund for 911 first responders. 

Posted July 12, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy
The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 without any language expanding the Department of Defense’s (DOD) discretionary authority to waive the certain costs for land leases and fees. Currently the DOD has authority
Posted July 11, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the House Financial Services Committee's markup, CUNA wrote in support of two of the bills marked-up.

H.R. 2852, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 
If enacted this legislation would ensure the Federal Housing Administration’s appraiser requirements are identical to those currently employed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac concerning licensed appraisers. As a result, credit unions would be able provide members with more choices for federally-backed loans without any concerns that an appraisal will not satisfy a program’s requirements due to their differing appraiser certification standards. H.R. 2852 passed the Committee by a voice vote.  

H.R. 281, the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019
The Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019 would require the Federal Reserve Banks to interview at least one candidate reflective of gender diversity and one candidate of racial or ethnic diversity when appointing presidents.  Since the Federal Reserve’s inception in 1913, only seven women have served as reserve bank presidents, with Janet Yellen being the only female to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve Boar.

Posted July 07, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 1988, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act; H.R. 2162, the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2019; H.Res. 456, a resolution “Emphasizing the importance of grassroots investor protection and the investor education missions of State and Federal securities regulators, calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to collaborate with State securities regulators in the protection of investors”; H.R. 2919, the Improving Investment Research for Small and Emerging Issuers Act; H.R. 3050, the Expanding Investment in Small Business Act of 2019; H.R. 2409, the Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators; and H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. 

The Senate will consider Daniel Aaron Bress, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. 

Posted July 03, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA commented on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)'s Overdraft Rule Review Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act.  The letter urges the Bureau avoid creating unnecessary burdens or limitations on the availability of overdraft programs. 

“Credit unions would not support efforts to reopen or revise the 2009 Overdraft Rule to expand the rule’s scope or add additional compliance requirements on credit unions offering this popular product to their members,” the letter reads. “When considering the issue of overdraft protection, the CFPB should keep in mind the personal choice consumers make when they opt in to these services for the comfort of knowing a transaction, especially a necessary or emergency purchase, will be honored.”

The CFPB is conducting a review of its 2009 overdraft rule as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The purpose of the review is to determine whether the rule under review should be “continued without change or amended or rescinded to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities, consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes,” per the statute.

Posted July 03, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA is still seeking your input on several rulemakings that close for comment later this month

Posted July 01, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA advocacy and compliance staff, including Chief Compliance Officer Jared Ihrig, Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer Elizabeth Eurgubian, and Manager of Federal Compliance Information and Research Nancy DeGrandi met with NCUA staff to discuss consumer financial protection issues at the agency’s headquarters.    

“We thank NCUA staff for their time and attention as CUNA continues our engagement with policymakers on practical ways to relieve the regulatory burden on credit unions,” Eurgubian said.  

NCUA celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act Wednesday as well, and CUNA staff were in attendance.