News Feed

On and off Capitol Hill

Mon, Jun 29, 2015

Columbia, Maryland

As we approach the end of June and close in on the start of the July 4th Congressional recess, the Association’s Advocacy Team wanted to briefly touch on some ‘happenings’ last week on Capitol Hill, the campaign trial, and in the regulatory arena…all areas that intersect and effect credit unions and the way we do business.

  • The National Credit Union Administration released proposed changes that would make it easier for credit unions to lend to businesses (MBL). The proposed rules, the agency's first comprehensive rewrite of its MBL regulations since 2003 — would eliminate requirements that credit union borrowers personally guarantee loans and a provision that imposes an 80% loan-to-value cap on collateral offered as security. The NCUA also expects to increase the amount of loans a credit union can make to a single borrower while lifting a cap on an institution's aggregate construction and development lending. Credit unions would still have to adhere to the current statutory cap limiting business lending to roughly 12.25% of total assets. The new plan eliminates the need for waivers.
  • J. Mark McWatters, the NCUA's third board member, had a more muted response to the proposal, suggesting that credit union trade organizations and industry executives could push for an even more expansive regulation. He urged credit union executives and lenders who "understand member business lending" to comment on the proposal to make sure the final version "represents absolutely true regulatory relief." Predictively, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) rejected the proposal to expand business lending and sent a press release expressing opposition to the inboxes of Financial Services Committee staffers among other Hill staff in turn.
  • The bill that probably garners the most support among credit unions is the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act, introduced in March by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y. Their bill would lift the cap on aggregate business lending by credit unions to 27.5% of total assets. Another bill, introduced in by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., would exempt loans made to veterans from counting against the cap.
  • Credit unions also back a bill introduced by Rep. Royce — the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act — that would exempt loans secured by non-owner-occupied one- to four-family houses from counting against the cap.
  • In the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Rep. Chris Van Hollen continues to gain endorsements in the run-up to next year’s April primary election.  Van Hollen won the support of another prominent politician from Prince George's County, the home base of his Democratic primary rival Rep. Donna Edwards. This time it's state Sen. Joanne Benson, an African America, who has served in the Annapolis State House (beginning in the House of delegates ) since 1991.
  • In a front page story featured in The Washington Post, a transgendered former Navy SEAL, Kristin Beck is running against Rep. Steny Hoyer for Congress. The story highlights Beck’s 20 year career in the Navy which includes a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with a “V” for valor, and a Joint Service Commendation decoration having served with the elite SEAL Team Six unit with hundreds of clandestine missions and dozens of captures and kills.  Anderson Cooper interviewed Beck on CNN, and the network later made a 90-minute documentary about her journey called “Lady Valor.” Beck is seeking votes in her long-shot primary bid against Hoyer, the second-most-powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/meet-kristin-beck-a-transgender-former-navy-seal-running-for congress/2015/06/22/299006e4-0b87-11e5-9e39-0db921c47b93_story.html

For additional information contact: Glen Cooney, VP, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, 443-325-0775, gcooney@mddccua.org.