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CFPB Regulatory Relief Bill HR 3048 Gains More Cosponsors
Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:35 AM

Credit union leaders fanned out on Capitol Hill during the recent CUNA GAC asking their lawmakers to support HR 3048, the Community Financial Institution Exemption Act, by Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX). An additional 16 new sponsors were added to HR 3048 as a result of their efforts.

The new cosponsors in the Cornerstone region are Bruce Westerman and Eric A. “Rick” Crawford from Arkansas and Randy Weber, Michael Conaway, Pete Sessions, Ted Poe, Brian Babin, John Carter, John Ratcliffe, and Pete Olson from Texas. The entire Oklahoma delegation is already cosponsoring. Tom Reed and Peter King (R-NY), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), Bill Posey (R-FL), and Tom Emmer (R-MN) also signed on.

“Thanks to all of our members who took time away from their credit unions to come to Washington, DC, and meet with their representatives," said Dick Ensweiler, president of the Cornerstone Credit Union League. "This is a clear example of the gains that can be achieved when credit union members have the opportunity to tell their story to their lawmakers."

HR 3048 addresses a fundamental problem facing credit unions: the overwhelming burden of regulation on local financial institutions that are serving their members and communities, not engaging in the reckless behavior that prompted the flood of regulations. The Act would exempt credit unions and community banks with less than $10 billion in total assets from new rules and regulations moving forward that are issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, unless a majority of those financial institutions are shown to have engaged in an anti-consumer practice.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray, who spoke to the nearly 5,000 attendees at the CUNA Governmental Affairs conference, addressed the issue of congressional exemption authority. He said that some people believe the CFPB has the authority to exempt credit unions from their rules and regulations, but that is not his interpretation of the law. He praised credit unions for making consumer protection a high priority, even before the CFPB was created, and for their commitment to financial education.

“We applaud Congressman Williams and all the cosponsors for their leadership by filing HR 3048 to make clear that Congress included the exemption provision so the CFPB would not have to take a one-size-fits-all approach to their rules," said Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman. "The CFPB continues to impose their rules on credit unions, even though community financial institutions are not the problem. This policy rewards the bad actors by burdening CUs who could provide better consumer options if allowed to serve their members without this additional costly regulation. By passing HR 3048, Congress will provide significant relief for credit unions and their members from the onslaught of more federal regulations."

Contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop for more information.