League representative Karin Sherbin continued the mini-hike on the House side, joined by Board member Stan Leicester of BayPort at the meeting with the banking aide of his own Congressman, Rob Wittman. BayPort does MBL, and Leicester talked of demand and how some of their members were unable to get capital at banks.
Aides were asked if they had heard from small business owners complaining of lack of access, and they acknowledged yes. The credit union advocates were to the point: there’s an unmet need for capital, everyone agrees more capital is needed, and credit unions can fill part of that need at no cost to taxpayers. For legislators that ideologically decry big government and regulations, the added argument was that the current cap is an example of the federal government mucking up the works. We argued that the current cap hurts job creation way before credit unions bump into it.
We asked for cosponsorship of the House companion bill, H.R. 1418, or support behind the scenes by way of delegation members asking leadership to move the bill. No aide voiced optimisim that their Congressman would do either.
H.R. 1418 had a hearing last fall in a subcommittee of House Financial Services. The aides advised that a committee markup on the bill would signal movement for the legislation, as opposed to just the hearing. (to learn more about the House and its procedures, go here: http://clerk.house.gov/committee_info/commfaq.aspx).
We do have one Congressman willing to face banker heat for supporting H.R. 1418. The aide for Rep. Gerry Connolly said he and the Congressman know that the bankers will be in their office today railing against the Congressman’s cosponsorship of the credit union legislation. The aide assured that Connolly will stand up to the bankers if he believes a credit union bill is good public policy. We all need to thank Connolly when he appears at the Congressional Luncheon Wednesday. Be prepared to applaud long and loud for him. And thank you to the credit union advocates who volunteered on his St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser; we know of CU volunteers from Belvoir who helped at the event.
CONGRESSMEN RECEPTIVE TO BILL ON FAIR EXAMINATIONS
House banking aides seemed more receptive to H.R. 3461, the bill that would require regulators to cite specific rules when issuing a finding from an examination. The bill also would create an ombuds office to hear appeals of findings. The House bill, H.R. 3461, was introduced by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a leader on House Financial Services. The bill has 113 co-sponsors, including the following Virginians: Connolly, Forbes, Hurt, and Wolf.
On the Senate side, only three legislators have signed on to S. 2160, none from Virginia.
Bankers support the legislation.
ANY CFPB CONCERNS?
Rep. Robert Hurt’s aide said that consumer bureau chief Richard Cordray is expected to appear before House Financial Services in the near future. He invited credit unions from Virginia to voice concerns/questions they may have for Cordray and Rep. Hurt, who sits on the committee, will try to get them addressed. Please send questions or concerns firstname.lastname@example.org so we may pass them on in one package.