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CUNA Pursues Trio of Relief Bills during Lame Duck
Thursday, November 13, 2014 6:40 AM

The U.S. Congress returned this week, entering a lame duck session that will last until the beginning of 2015, where leadership changes hands as a result of the Midterm Elections.

Congress must pass legislation to fund the government past Dec. 11, whether in the form of a short-term continuing resolution or an omnibus to fund the government through the end of the next fiscal year.

"If history is a guide, we can also expect to see a flurry of movement on noncontroversial bills before the end of the session," Ryan Donovan, senior vice president of legislative affairs for CUNA, said. "So, even though the headlines tell us not to expect much to happen before adjournment, noncontroversial bills may have an opportunity in the final weeks of Congress. At this point, we expect both chambers to adjourn on or about December 12."

CUNA is seeking to move three House-passed regulatory relief bills through the Senate before the early-December 2014 adjournment. These bills are:

  1. The Privacy Notification Modernization Act (S. 635/H.R. 749), which would eliminate the requirement for credit unions to send members annual privacy notices by mail, provided the credit union has not changed its privacy policy;
  2. The Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act (IOLTA) (S. 2699/H.R. 3468), which would make it clear that the National Credit Union Administration has the authority under the Federal Credit Union Act to extend share insurance coverage to funds in interest on lawyer trust accounts (IOLTAs); and
  3. The Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act (S. 1806/H.R. 3584), which would correct a drafting error that kept privately insured credit unions from joining the Federal Home Loan Bank program.

"We have been working with the sponsors and leadership during the recess to find ways to move these bills during the lame duck, and we will continue those conversations now that Congress has returned to Washington," Donovan said.

CUNA staff also met with Hill staff and administration officials during the recess to continue to raise concerns regarding notification, merchant data security standards, and reimbursement to credit unions and other financial institutions.