On May 22nd the U.S. House debated and passed S. 2155, an important regulatory relief bill that credit unions across the country have been urging Congress to move forward. The legislation was quickly signed into law by President Trump on May 24th. This bill is the bipartisan regulatory reform package to make changes to Dodd-Frank provisions and relieve compliance burdens at financial institutions, and is the outcome of years of negotiations, lobbying and consistent messaging and advocacy from credit unions, Leagues and CUNA. Congratulations to everyone in the system!
During the debate on the bill, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-11) from Georgia spoke out on the floor of the House in favor of the bill to help see it pass, and this bill was widely supported by most of Georgia’s Congressional delegation. The bill:
- Establishes a safe harbor from certain requirements for a loan to be considered a Qualified Mortgage;
- Rescinds the additional data points required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for insured credit unions that originate fewer than 500 closed-end and/or 500 open-end lines of credit;
- Reclassifies one-to-four unit, non-owner occupied residential loans as real estate loans, so the loan would not count against the member business lending cap;
- Removes the three-day wait period required for the combined TRID mortgage disclosure if a creditor extends to a consumer a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate;
- Requires NCUA to make publicly available a draft of their proposed budget, hold a hearing with public notice during which this draft would be discussed and solicit and consider public comment about the draft budget;
- Provides a safe harbor for properly trained financial employees who report alleged elder financial abuse; and
- Requires the U.S. Department of Treasury to conduct a study on the risks that cyber threats may pose to financial institutions.
Georgia credit unions engaged in the call to action to move the bill across the finish line, met with Congressmen at the GAC Hike the Hill to lobby for its passage, been a part of a financial advisory council to educate on the need for the bill, and GCUA joined with the two for-profit banking trade associations in a joint letter urging the Georgia members of the U.S. House to vote for S. 2155 that was reinforced with an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle that cited all three state financial industry trades. And we would be remiss without a special thank you to U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) from Georgia for being one of the original sponsors of this bill in the Senate, and to all the Georgia credit union advocates who had shared the need for regulatory relief with him prior to encourage this bill to come to fruition.
All of these efforts were designed to draw attention to the need for this measure to pass, and were seen in other states across the country combined with a full-on lobbying blitz by CUNA. It took everyone working together as there were considerable challenges in this bill’s path that could have easily disrupted the delicate balance in this bipartisan regulatory relief measure. This success of the bill’s passage is due to all of this work!