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This Week in Credit Union Advocacy on Capitol Hill
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 6:30 AM

Both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate returned to Washington yesterday. As usual, CUNA and Cornerstone are following several committee meetings on both sides of the Capitol, including the following:

Wednesday

  • The House Financial Services Committee will hold a full committee meeting to adopt its oversight plan for the 114th Congress.

Thursday

  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a full committee hearing on "Jobs and a Healthy Economy."

Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 185)

Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 185, the "Regulatory Accountability Act," by a vote of 250-175. CUNA joined several other industry groups in supporting this bill which would modernize the 69-year-old Administrative Procedure Act and improve how federal agencies write the regulations that most significantly affect the U.S. economy.

Specifically, the Regulatory Accountability Act would enhance the regulatory process by:

  • Increasing public participation in shaping the most costly regulations before they are proposed;
  • Requiring that agencies must choose the least costly option, unless they can demonstrate that public health, safety, or welfare requires a more costly requirement;
  • Giving interested parties the opportunity to hold agencies accountable for their compliance with the Information Quality Act;
  • Providing on-the-record administrative hearings for the most costly regulations to ensure that agency data is well tested and reviewed;
  • Restricting agencies' use of interim final regulations where no comments are taken before a regulation takes effect and providing for expedited judicial review of whether that approach is justified; and
  • Providing for a more rigorous test in legal challenges for those regulations that would have the most impact.

The legislation now moves to the Senate.

Federal Home Loan Bank Eligibility for Privately Insured Credit Unions

Legislation to permit privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Bank System was reintroduced in the House of Representatives last week by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), and Andre Carson (D-IN).

CUNA supported this legislation in the last Congress when it enjoyed broad bipartisan support, passing the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 55-0 and the full House by a vote of 395-0.

The current legislation is H.R. 299, the "Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015." CUNA will be working with supporters in the House and Senate to move this legislation through the process as quickly as possible.