It pays to pay attention … accurate statement in all elements of life, but particularly in government activity. And in Congress, there are several issues being addressed that touch the industry that require focused credit union advocacy. This effort for credit unions happens in and around hearings as well as on the floors of both the Senate and the House for “official” votes, and takes staying engaged from the federal lobbying team of CUNA, the strong connections and interaction from Leagues, and the advocacy work of credit unions. Some of the action of interest for just this week includes:
On the House Floor
- This week the House has been addressing amendments and votes on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020. This is the bill discussed in the last edition of Creating Influence where there is contention around language that appears to expand rent-free military base access. CUNA has been hyper-focused on addressing this issue and has called for the rejection of any language that would expand the Department of Defense’s (DoD) authority regarding financial institutions in a manner that creates issues. This bill passed the Senate on June 27 with the negative language, and the House has a different version … as such, if the bill is to proceed, the two versions will go to conference committee, where CUNA, Leagues and credit unions will continue to engage to preserve the current bank access framework. More work continues!
In the Committees
- On July 10th in advance of a hearing, CUNA wrote to the House Committee of Financial Services leadership on behalf of credit unions on two issues, one of which encourages diversity on the Federal Reserve Board (H.R. 281), and the other to ensure that the Federal Housing Administration appraiser requirements mirror those used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (H.R. 2852). This would help ensure that credit union members would have more choices for federally-backed loans (and lessen compliance and operational issues).
- On July 10th the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on monetary policy and the economy.
- On July 10th a House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security held a hearing on marijuana laws and the need for reform (something of note for banking operations in states with legal or quasi-legal schematics for marijuana-related businesses such as Georgia).
- On July 11th the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the semiannual monetary policy Report to the Congress.
How can you make an impact? One way is to grow connections with federal legislators and share how the industry makes a difference in the lives of Georgians (and how the issues they address impacts that ability!). One direct avenue to do so is the Fall Hike the Hill from October 22nd-24th; stay tuned for information on this event.