Federal Legislative Update with Jeff Olson
by Jeff Olson, VP of Advocacy and Awareness
Washington – As credit unions prepare to head to DC for the CUNA Governmental Affairs conference later this month, the Banking industry is in DC this week for legislative meetings and congressional visits. Both the House and the Senate are back in session.
This week in DC -
The House will meet at noon today then recess by 5:30 p.m. to allow a security sweep of the House Chamber prior to the President's State of the Union address. The House will meet again at approximately 8:35 p.m. for the purpose of receiving, in a joint session with the Senate, the President of the United State for the State of the Union address. For the balance of the week, the House is expected to consider three bills under suspension of the rules. In addition, the House will consider H.R. 592, a bill to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to clarify that houses of worship are eligible for certain disaster relief and emergency assistance on terms equal to other eligible private nonprofit facilities. Finally, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 273, a bill to eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees.
The Senate met yesterday and resumed their consideration of the “Violence Against Women Act” (S. 47).
Credit unions are following several hearings on both sides of the Capitol this week including the following:
On Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on "The CBO's (Congressional Budget Office) Budget and Economic Outlook."
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee has a scheduled a hearing on the nomination of Jacob "Jack" Lew to be Treasury secretary.
On the other side of the Capitol, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled, "Bailout, Bust, or Much Ado About Nothing?: A Look at the Federal Housing Administration's 2012 Actuarial Report." The hearing will examine the FHA's financial status and HUD's November 16, 2012 actuarial review of the FY 2012 FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). FHA Commissioner Carol Galante, is the sole witness.
The House Budget Committee will have a hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook." Finally, the House Small Business Committee is scheduled to examine the "State of the Small Business Economy."
On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee will conduct a hearing on itemized deduction for charitable contributions as part of comprehensive tax reform. Credit unions are not expected to be discussed, but we will monitor the hearing for any discussion of our tax preference and the general line of questioning from members of the committee.
Also on Thursday, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a full committee hearing on "Wall Street Reform: Oversight of Financial Stability and Consumer and Investor Protections." Federal banking regulators have been invited to testify.
Charter Enhancement Legislation
Finally, we wanted to let you know that credit unions are closely working with the House sponsors of the Member Business Lending legislation and the Supplemental Capital legislation in an effort to get these bills introduced this week. The timing will coincide with the credit unions CUNA GAC conference in Washington, D.C., February 24-28.