WASHINGTON – Illustrating the stalemate that has gripped Congress the past two years, the Senate failed to vote the credit union-backed ATM disclosure bill and pushed it aside until a brief session after elections, despite the overwhelming bipartisan support of the measure that passed the House 370-0.

The bill continues to be stalled by a Senate maneuver known as a “hold” put on it by South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint, who refused to lift his hold on the ATM bill unless Senate leaders agree to vote on his bill that would repeal the Dodd-Frank Act.

“When you pass something 370 to zero and get 64 Senate co-sponsors and can’t get it passed, that tells you something,” said John Magill, executive vice president for government affairs at CUNA, of the bill to eliminate one the two fee disclosures required under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

Magill hopes the ATM bill and the long-sought proposal to lift the member business loan cap will be voted in the so-called lameduck session after the elections, perhaps as part of a broader bill. “We don’t know,” Magill told Credit Union Journal yesterday. “A lot of things [bad feelings] dissipate right after the election.”

Lawmakers leave the Capitol today with little legislation having passed the 112th Congress. For credit unions that means bills ranging from efforts to strengthen data security, allow supplemental capital, and reform the examinations process, as well as the MBL and ATM measures, have failed to pass.

CUNA’s Magill said credit unions remain committed to getting the MBL bill passed, even though NCUA’s approval of 550 credit unions for the low-income exemption from the cap has lessened the need. “Credit unions will tell you that does not resolve the problem. It’s still a larger problem,” he said.


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