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Senators Propose Bill to Open NCUA Budget Process to Public
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6:45 AM

Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a bill this morning that would require the National Credit Union Administration to make several aspects of its budget process public. The bill is titled the NCUA Budget Transparency Act.

"The NCUA is funded by credit unions and their more than 100 million members; it makes perfect sense that the agency should be transparent with its budget," said Credit Union National Association CEO/President Jim Nussle. "I thank Sens. Heller and Warner for their leadership on this issue and hope this legislation comes to a vote in both chambers."

The bill would amend the Federal Credit Union Act to require NCUA to make a copy of its draft operating budget publicly available and printed in the Federal Register. It would also require the agency to provide notice of a public hearing, conduct a hearing, and allow the public to submit comments on the budget.

"Credit unions play a critical role in allowing Virginians to borrow in order to buy homes and start businesses, and the NCUA plays an important role in ensuring that system—with more than one trillion in assets—remains stable and sound," Warner said in a statement. "Since credit union members are ultimately responsible for funding the NCUA through assessments on their institutions, it makes sense that the public should have the opportunity to weigh in as the NCUA considers its annual budget."

Heller added that the reason the two legislators proposed the bill was to return the NCUA to the "high standards" it had when it held previous public budget hearings.

"The National Credit Union Administration should hold public hearings detailing its budget annually," Heller said. "This is not a foreign practice to the NCUA, and it should not become extinct. Submitting a budget publically welcomes transparency and allows for public input."