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House Passes Appropriates Bill that Includes Significant Reg Relief for CUs

Sun, Sep 17, 2017

The House voted late last week to approve H.R. 3354, an appropriations bill that contains several major victories for credit unions. The bill keeps NCUA out of the appropriations process, a provision the CUNA/league system advocated heavily for on Capitol Hill, and contains significant regulatory relief, including changes to the CFPB.

Of particular note is the successful removal of language that would have placed NCUA under the appropriations process. The language was included in the bill originally, but an amendment from Reps. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) was successfully added Thursday by voice vote.

CUNA engaged heavily with leagues, credit unions and members to advocate for the adoption of the Amodei-Aguilar amendments, and issued an action alert through its Grassroots Action Center for stakeholders to reach out to their legislators.

"I want to thank the many credit unions in Maryland and DC that responded to the urgent request for action by reaching out to members of Congress,” said MD|DC Credit Union Association President/CEO John Bratsakis. The Association’s Advocacy team went to Capitol Hill and met with members of the Maryland and DC delegations to make the case for supporting the Amodi-Aguilar amendment, and maintaining the NCUA’s independence. Thank you again for actively engaging on this very important issue and working together to send a strong message to Congress. The message was received – loud and clear!”  

League and CUNA-backed changes to the CFPB in the bill include:

  • Removes the CFPB’s unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices authority;
  • Places the CFPB under the appropriations process;
  • Repeals the CFPB’s authority to write rules for arbitration;
  • Repeals the CFPB’s Small Business Data Collection program;

The bill also contains provisions to provide community financial institution mortgage relief, and a safe harbor for certain loans held in portfolio.

The bill also cuts the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund by $58 million from FY17 levels. However, this still leaves it funded at pre-recession levels.