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 September 30, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate will resume consideration of H.R.302, the five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.  The Senate is also expected to vote on H.R. 6, legislation to address opioid abuse. 

The House is in recess until November 13. 

Posted September 28, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Leutkemeyer and Ranking Member Clay prior to today's House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing entitled, "Examining Opportunities for Financial Markets in the Digital Era.”  While CUNA supports financial technology innovation, it remains concerned about an environment in which consumers would not receive the same protections as they do at financial institutions.

CUNA wrote, “A regulatory scheme that ensures consumers receive the same protections and those offering these services are subject to similar regulations and supervision credit unions and banks is important to safeguard consumers and the banking system."

Posted September 28, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

September 25th was ‘National Register To Vote’ day, so the timing of the new MAP Campaign for Credit Unions Vote is perfect! Did you know that 44% of registered voters are credit union members? 

Your credit union can participate in the latest MAP Campaign, “Credit Unions Vote.

Posted September 27, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation met for a hearing entitled: “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy,” which examined the privacy policies of top technology and communications firms, reviewed the current state of consumer data privacy, and offered members the opportunity to discuss possible approaches to safeguarding consumer privacy more effectively.

Posted September 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Bureau issued a report on its sources of data and the use of that data to achieve its statutory mission. The report was accompanied by a Request for Information (RFI) seeking feedback on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bureau’s data governance and various data collections. Comments are due 90-days after publication of the RFI in the Federal Register

Posted September 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) this week regarding website accessibility for public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This letter is a response to the CUNA-supported letter sent on June 20, 2018, by 103 members of Congress calling on DOJ to provide clarity for website accessibility standards. 

Posted September 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA announced it will hold a public briefing on the agency’s proposed 2019-2020 budget.  The briefing will be held on October 17, at 10 am, at agency headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

Posted September 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

On October 18, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) will hold a town hall in Baton Rouge to discuss preventing elder financial exploitation.

The town hall will feature remarks from Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, as well as participation and comments from consumer groups, industry representatives, state partners, and members of the public. 

Posted September 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which seeks to enhance housing opportunities for traditionally underserved groups and create economic incentives for local governments to eliminate unnecessary land use restrictions. While CUNA agrees with much of the bill’s intent, the legislation would counterproductively harm credit unions by adding an unnecessary layer of examination compliance. The bill actually seeks to impose Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements, which were enacted as a result of bank redlining and disproportionate discriminatory lending practices—explicitly not intended to apply toward credit unions, who by definition, serve their community as a cooperative non-profit entity.

Posted September 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Representative Loudermilk in support of his recently introduced legislation, the Financial Reporting Threshold Modernization Act.   If enacted, this legislation would provide a “much needed and long overdue” modernization of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting thresholds. 

“In 1970, few ordinary consumer financial transactions exceeded $10,000—the current (and original 1970- designed) trigger for financial institutions to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs),” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote.

Posted September 23, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

It’s time to brag about the work credit unions are doing in their communities.  CUSocialGood.com has been collecting stories from credit unions for years, but it’s time to share stories from your lending officers or credit union members who have received a credit union loan when they could not get one from another financial institution.  

We know these stories can be tough to write and submit, but the goal is to collect stories on how credit unions are serving their mission and are responsible lenders. 

Sign Up at CU Social Good 

Posted September 23, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

On the floor, the Senate will consider the nominations of Jackie Wolcott to be U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency AND Wolcott’s nomination to be U.S. Representative to the Vienna Office of the United Nations.  The nomination of Peter A. Feldman to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will also be considered. 

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on three bills collectively known as “Tax Reform 2.0.” 

Posted September 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

President Trump signed into law the conference report on H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water Development, Military Construction, and Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019.  This three-bill “minibus” is the first fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill to be signed into law. 

The 2018 fiscal year ends on September 30.  If history is any guide, at least one partial continuing resolution will be necessary to fund government operations that begin on October 1, 2018. 

A House and Senate conference committee has agreed to another two-bill FY19 Appropriations “minibus” funding bill that funds the Department of Defense, as well as the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bills.  Included in this agreement is a continuing resolution to fund all remaining government operations until December 7th at FY18 levels.  This is intended to give Democrats and Republicans in Congress more time to come up with agreement on remaining FY19 appropriations bills.  The Senate has passed this second minibus and the House is scheduled to consider it the last week of September. 

Posted September 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week was a busy one on the consumer protection front, as CUNA advocacy engaged Bureau staff on serving credit invisible consumers and regulating PACE loan programs; meanwhile the payday rule litigation continues and the Bureau announced a new office location in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Posted September 20, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA partnered with the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) to continue aggressive nationwide defense of credit unions facing frivolous lawsuits. The organizations filed a brief earlier this week supporting Family First CU, Hapeville, Georgia, which has been sued by a plaintiff alleging website noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“We are proud to work with the Georgia Credit Union League to demonstrate there is no standing to bring this lawsuit,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Meritless litigation comes at the direct expense of credit union members and does not advance the spirit of the ADA. CUNA and the leagues will continue to support credit unions affected by frivolous lawsuits and demand letters.” 

Credit unions around the country are facing lawsuits due to confusion over how the ADA applies to websites, and CUNA has made finding a solution a top advocacy priority.


Posted September 20, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board issued a proposed rule that would raise the threshold below which appraisals for non-residential real estate would not be required. Currently, an appraisal is required for non-residential real estate transactions with a market value greater than $250,000. The proposed rule would increase the threshold to $1 million. A written estimate of market value would still be required; the agency is seeking comment on whether a de minimus exemption should also apply to this provision. For a GSE-backed loan, the market value would be determined by the uninsured value. The proposal will be subject to a 60 day comment period.

Posted September 20, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Senator Hatch in support of his recently introduced legislation - the Give Useful Information to Define Effective (GUIDE) Compliance Act. A House version of the bill was introduced by Representatives. Duffy and Perlmutter.  The House version passed the House Financial Services Committee last week.

“Credit unions across the country continue to be frustrated with the sluggish issuance of guidance from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) which has created uncertainty and ambiguity not only for credit unions, but all industry stakeholders,” the letter reads. “The GUIDE Compliance Act would alleviate this uncertainty by requiring the BCFP to standardize the process of providing guidance that can be relied upon by industry.”

Posted September 20, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA sent a follow-up letter to the Department of Defense and Office of Management and Budget, seeking resolution to the ongoing issue with Question & Answer 2 (QA2) of the DoD’s December 2017 guidance on the MLA rule.

Posted September 19, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs met for a hearing yesterday entitled “Fintech: Examining Digitization, Data, and Technology.” 

Both the Members of the Committee and the witnesses stressed the importance of thoroughly and methodically instituting regulations governing Fintech given the sensitive nature of the information and relationships involved.

  • Chairman Crapo (R-ID) repeated the need for clear and frequent affirmative consent requirements for third-party access to financial data.
  • Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) raised concerns over the risks associated with the access and dissemination of consumers’ sensitive financial and transactional data by tech companies.

Posted September 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA filed a comment letter with the Financial Accounting Standards Board in support of a proposed change to FASB’s CECL (current expected credit loss) accounting standard.

Posted September 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives is in recess until September 25.  

The Senate is expected to consider and vote on the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act” (H.R. 6) and “the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act” (S.2554).  

In addition, the Senate may consider the conference report to H.R. 6157, the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Act for FY 2019.  This bill also includes a continuing resolution for all government functions until December 7, 2018 for any government agencies funded by appropriations bills not enacted into law before September 30, 2018, the end of fiscal year 2018. 


Posted September 14, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Eighteen young credit union professionals from around the country made the journey to Washington. D.C. this week to attend our second annual Young Professionals Advocacy Training.  The all-day training featured discussions led by CUNA and league staff, a panel featuring Congressional staffers, lessons from outside government affairs professionals, interactive group activities, and congressional meeting prep sessions.  Topics covered included best practices for in-district and Capitol Hill meetings, an overview of CUNA’s political program and the role credit union professionals play in advocacy, in addition to networking opportunities.  Two important topics stressed throughout the training was the importance of building a relationship with your Members of Congress and their staffs and the importance of storytelling.

Posted September 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Financial Services Committee passed two CUNA-supported pieces of legislation –  H.R. 5534, Give Useful Information to Define Effective (GUIDE) Compliance Act and H.R. 6743, Consumer Information Notification Requirement Act.

Earlier in the week, CUNA wrote to both of the bills’ sponsors, joined with other trade associations supporting H.R. Luetkemeyer’s data security legislation, and wrote to Committee leadership prior to the mark-up.

Posted September 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection released resources to help consumers prepare financially for disasters and emergencies. 

Posted September 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board meeting will meet on Thursday, September 20, at 10am, at NCUA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. 

The meeting agenda includes:

  1. Share Insurance Fund Quarterly Report.
  2. Board Briefing, Appointment of Administrative Law Judges.
  3. Proposed Rule, Part 722, Real Estate Appraisals.
  4. Texas Member Business Loan Rule

Following the banking agencies action on April 2, 2018, to increase the threshold for which commercial real estate loans would be exempt from appraisal requirements (from $250,000 to $500,000), credit unions have been anxiously awaiting NCUA action to provide parity for the credit union industry.

Posted September 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined other trade organizations requesting an extension of the comment deadline for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s proposed policy to encourage trial disclosure programs. Specifically requesting the comment deadline be extended an additional 45 days beyond the current October 10th deadline.

“We believe that a limited, 30-day comment period may preclude the development of a sufficiently broad and complete factual record necessary to develop optimal policy action,” the letter reads. “We respectfully recommend that the Bureau extend the comment period 45 days to November 23, 2018.”

Posted September 11, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law, NCUA and other federal financial regulatory agencies said  in a joint statement. CUNA supports this unified approach from regulators.

In addition to the NCUA, the statement comes from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Posted September 11, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) will hold a meeting of its Credit Union Advisory Council on Thursday, September 27th at 9:00 AM.  The group is expected to discuss policy issues related to financial technology. This discussion will likely include the recently-issued proposal and request for comment on Trial Disclosure Programs

Late last week, the BCFP announced the new members of its reconstituted Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). All seven of the selected CUAC members are from CUNA-member cred

Posted September 11, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Ways and Means Committee will markup “Tax Reform 2.0”.  It consists of a package of three new bills:

  • H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018, makes permanent many of the small business and personal income tax provisions in last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA).
  • H.R. 6757, the Family Savings Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), makes changes to certain retirement account provisions in the tax code.
  • H.R. 6756, the American Innovation Act of 2018, modifies the tax code to encourage startup businesses.

Posted September 10, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection (OCFP) issued an Update with information about the HMDA Interpretive Rule finalized by the BCFP on August 31, 2018.  The HMDA Interpretive Rule implemented changes made by S.2155 and became effective on September 7, 2018. 

According to the agency, today’s Update “explains the Bureau’s rule, which identifies the data points subject to the new HMDA partial exemptions, describes transactions subject to the partial exemptions, discusses a new alternative to the universal loan identifier, and includes parameters for voluntary reporting.”

Posted September 10, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA has been focused on potential changes to the housing finance system, sending two letters on the subject: one to the Administration and Congress, signed by other lending trades and housing groups, and a second to the House Financial Services Committee, which held a hearing entitled “A Failure to Act: How a Decade without GSE Reform Has Once Again Put Taxpayers at Risk.” 

Posted September 09, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Congress returns for a truncated work week.  Although not public yet, we expect the House Ways and Means Committee to release the text of “Tax Reform 2.0” this week and hold a markup on Thursday.  We don’t expect credit unions to be affected directly by the new legislation. 

This week, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 3798, the Save American Workers Act of 2017.  This bill repeals the “business mandate” and certain other provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2009.  The House may also consider the conference report to H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019. 

The Senate will resume consideration of Charles P. Rettig to be Commissioner of the IRS.  The Senate may also consider a bill “to ensure that health insurance issuers and group health plans do not prohibit pharmacy providers from providing certain information to enrollees” (S. 2554) as well as a bill to provide for opioid use disorder prevention, recovery, and treatment (H.R. 6). 

Posted September 07, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Policy Guidance and Request for Comment related to efforts to encourage the creation of Trial Disclosure Programs (TDP) at financial institutions.  Feedback is due to the Bureau 30 days after publication in the Federal Register

The Dodd-Frank Act provided the Bureau the authority to grant certain legal protections to entities that create TDPs through a Bureau-approved process.  The intent was to encourage innovation and ensure markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent and competitive. 

Posted September 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The BCFP announced the new members of its reconstituted Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). All seven of the selected CUAC members are from CUNA-member credit unions.  

CUNA actively and outspokenly supported the CUAC as a necessary source of feedback for the Bureau during our discussions with BCFP officials, including Director Mulvaney, and in a white paper submitted in response to the Bureau’s comprehensive RFI process.  We thank Director Mulvaney for his decision to adopt our recommendations and preserve the CUAC. 

Posted September 06, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA wrote to Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters prior to the House Financial Services Committee entitled, "A Failure to Act: How a Decade without GSE Reform Has Once Again Put Taxpayers at Risk.”

In the letter CUNA wrote in support of the creation of an efficient, effective and fair secondary market with equal access for lenders of all sizes. The letter follows up a joint letter CUNA sent earlier in the week to the Committee on government-sponsored entity (GSE) reform.

Posted September 06, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Bureau released its 17th edition of Supervisory Highlights. The report profiles observations made during the BCFP's supervision activities between December 2017 and May 2018, roughly the first six months of Mick Mulvaney's tenure as Director. 

Posted September 05, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Six U.S. Senators wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the DOJ take action to address the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website accessibility issue. 

“We support the ADA and all it stands for,” the letter reads. “But for the ADA to be effective, it must be clear so that law abiding Americans can faithfully follow the law.”

Posted September 05, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

In response to a letter submitted by House Financial Services Committee Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Leutkemeyer (R-OK), NCUA Chairman McWatters issued a formal response, detailing the agency’s ongoing plan for supervision of credit unions. The letter highlights specific areas of targeted regulatory relief and transparency initiatives. 

Posted September 05, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA President CEO Jim Nussle discussed grassroots advocacy, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the appropriations process in an interview with National Journal. Nussle served as a member of Congress from Iowa from 1991 to 2007, and as director of the Office
Posted September 04, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA CEO Jim Nussle sent a letter to the NCUA Board, expressing hope that the agency will consider applying an extended examination cycle (from 12 to 18 months) for credit unions under $3 billion, given such relief has been afforded to banking organizations by the federal banking agencies.  

Posted September 04, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives returns this week from recess and is expected to consider the “Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act” (H.R. 4606) and the “Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act” (H.R. 1635).

The Senate is expected to consider several federal judicial nominations.