Pages From the Diary of Mrs. C. Hunt - Nov. 17, 2021
The summer after I graduated law school, I moved back to my parent’s house to study and take the bar exam. The exam was mid-July and after I took it, I had a few months to kill before embarking out into the professional world.
It was a time where I felt at a loss for what to do, since for the past three years, I had toiled away at William & Mary, with always something more to read or study. There was never a time where I felt at rest.
After I took the bar, I was not obligated to do anything. I spent a few weeks lazing about, but my mind could not stop racing. I was at loose ends.
One morning, I spied the mossy brick path in my parent’s backyard that led from the back of the garage to the edge of the woods. It had been there since they built the house in the 1970s and had long been abandoned as useful or necessary. So, I decided to take it up.
Brick by brick in the hot, Maryland July. The ones near the garage were easy. I dug a few out -- scrubbed them off and neatly stacked the like-new bricks under the eaves.
But as I got further and further from the stack and the hose stopped reaching and the wheelbarrow got heavier, the work was truly backbreaking. Each day, I would come in at dusk -- dead-tired, sweaty, with dirt caked under my fingernails.
As the stack grew taller, my mind grew calmer, and I felt the accomplishment of having achieved something physical and tangible. Brick by brick. Sometimes when I think about advocacy it reminds me of that path -- endlessly stretching forward. But I am confident we will achieve our goals -- brick by brick.
Vaccine Mandate: As expected, the federal court system has halted the vaccine mandate rule. That does not mean that employers need not be prepared to implement it though. For Virginia, at issue is whether the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) will adopt the federal standard and allow it to preempt Virginia law that mandates that employers have to pay for any medical testing they may require. The DOLI can also issue regulations stating the Virginia law does not apply in this situation due to the mandate being a federal law -- or we could see litigation in state court. Your League has lobbied the state on this.
NCUA and Strategic Plan: At the NCUA Board meeting tomorrow, the NCUA is releasing its 2022-26 strategic plan. If this is a document you don’t normally review, I would urge you to do so today. While not set in stone, it gives credit unions a good road map as to where the NCUA will be focusing and also a preview of how it will be using your resources. We will provide a summary of key points, as well.
CFPB and HMDA: Yesterday, the CFPB issued a Request for Information (RFI) to seek input on rules implementing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The CFPB plans to review recent changes to the rule and evaluate those changes' effectiveness. If you recall, the CFPB issued a HMDA rule with more data points than the statute required. The CFPB wants to see if the current rule is working or whether they need to add even more. They released a report in August that indicated black and Hispanic borrowers were denied loans at a higher rate than white borrowers. While not dispositive, this has raised red flags and the CFPB is doing a deeper dive.
Postal Banking: Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, John Boozman (R-AR), and a number of their Senate colleagues are raising concerns over the U.S. Postal Service's postal banking pilot program.
In a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the senators questioned the USPS's legal authority to implement a banking pilot program that is completely unrelated to its mission of providing "reliable, affordable, universal mail service." The Postal Service launched its postal banking pilot program in September without notifying Congress. I have been working with AACUL and several league Presidents in a working group on this issue. We are raising our own questions and concerns.
Build Back Better; Build Better Back; Better Back Build? The Biden Administration is still working to push through its BBB bill. The cost of this legislation is astronomical and the moderate democrats’ support hinges on the CBO re-scoring the bill, which comes out on Friday. As of now, the IRS reporting provision is still not in the bill but that could change. If the House manages to come to an agreement, the bill will go to the Senate where more changes could happen. We must stay vigilant on this one. Just keep in mind our theme for the day: BBB. Brick By Brick.
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