Congress is back from its spring recess and credit unions will get to see if their lobbying efforts in favor of regulatory relief have swayed lawmakers.
A variety of activities of interest to credit unions are expected on the Hill this week and in the weeks ahead. Among them are that for the first time since taking over as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney will appear before the House Financial Services Committee to give the semi-annual report on the CFPB required by the Dodd-Frank Act.
According to the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, the hearing is expected to be an opportunity for Mulvaney to go into detail on four specific recommendations he has made for changes at the bureau.
In advance of that hearing, NAFCU, the Credit Union National Association, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, and more than a dozen other financial trade groups have sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee highlighting the trades’ views on the bureau’s previous rulemaking and calling for congress to change the CFPB’s leadership structure to a multi-member commission.
“The sad reality for consumers is that both Democrats and Republicans have supported a commission throughout the years only to walk away from it when it was politically convenient to do so,” Ryan Donovan, chief advocacy officer at CUNA, said in a teleconference call Monday.
In advance of Mulvaney’s testimony, CUNA sent a letter to the leadership of the House Financial Services Committee, emphasizing that the CFPB’s blanket rules for the financial services industry hurt \ credit unions’ ability to serve their members. The letter cited a CUNA-commissioned study that showed the increased regulatory burden continues to have a real financial cost for CUs – a total of $6.1 billion, an increase of more than $800 million since 2014.
In the letter, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle outlined further changes the association would like to see the CFPB make, including providing exemptions to credit unions around issues like the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule, mortgage servicing, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, remittances and small dollar lending. He also asked that the CFPB not propose or finalize any new regulations for credit unions, that the bureau reevaluate finalized rules, that it hand over examination and supervision for credit union compliance to the National Credit Union Administration and more.
While Mulvaney’s testimony may grab the biggest headlines, there is plenty of other action at stake for CUs in Congress this week. The House is expected to vote on three bills coming out of the House Financial Services Committee: The Stress Test Improvement Act (H.R. 4293), The Financial Oversight Stability Council Improvement Act (H.R. 4061), and The Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act (H.R. 4790). The House is also considering “Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
Additionally, credit unions are still awaiting House consideration of the Senate’s regulatory relief bill (S. 2155) and a bipartisan bill which would add an additional two-year implementation delay to the National Credit Union Administration’s risk-based capital rule.
Hearings this week
Legislators also have a number of hearings of interest to credit unions scheduled this week.
- The House Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “The State of Trade for America’s Small Businesses.”
- The Senate Budget Committee will review the Congressional Budget Office’s budget and economic outlook. The House Budget Committee will do this on Thursday.
- The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Hearing on Jobs and Opportunity: Local Perspectives on the Jobs Gap.”
- The Senate Finance Committee will meet for a hearing titled, “The 2018 Tax Filing Season and Future IRS Challenges.”