Congress has tackled a wide variety of issues of interest to the credit union industry, with all eyes this week on the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on potentially removing the federal barriers surrounding financial services for the legal cannabis industry. Outside of that hearing, there were several other issues of note to credit unions of late in Washington, D.C.:
- On July 25th the House Committee on Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology held a hearing that examined the use of alternative data in underwriting and credit scoring, with an intention to expand consumers’ access to credit.
- On July 24th the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing on the upcoming merger between SunTrust and BB&T, likening it to the “next megabank.”
- On July 17th the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 3375, Stop Robocalls Now Act, with credit union supported language. Prior to the Committee’s markup, CUNA wrote in supportof the bipartisan effort that produced the bill and supported 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.
- On July 12th credit unions had more positive news, as the U.S. 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 certain costs for land leases and fees. The Senate version of the NDAA, which passed the chamber June 27, contains CUNA-opposed language allowing for potential expansion of the DOD’s exemption, but only for financial institutions that meet the same standards of credit unions eligible for the exemption. Work continues to engage lawmakers as the bill moves into conference, advocating to ensure that the House language is incorporated into the final bill.
As one can tell, being engaged with members of Congress and communicating credit union issues (and needs!) could not be more necessary, with the large number of issues addressed in Washington, D.C. that impact the industry. And the opportunity to share that message is coming up – the GCUA annual fall Hike the Hill trip to D.C. will be on October 22-24, 2019, held in conjunction with LSCU to solidify a focus of credit union advocates on the fall grassroots lobbying trip to Washington. Make plans today to join in the effort!