CU Lobbying Efforts Yield a Dry Hole on Capitol Hill
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) introduced a regulatory relief bill for community banks July 24 that includes four provisions. Two of those exclusively benefit community banks, and two would benefit both community banks and credit unions.
However, the CLEAR Act contained no credit union-exclusive regulatory relief provisions.
Why can’t credit unions get their interests advanced in Congress, while banks can? The answer is strategy, banking trade associations said.
“The big distinction between the credit union effort and what we’re doing on regulatory relief is that they are seeking to expanding their powers, while we are attempting to reduce regulations that are already on the books,” said Paul Merski, executive vice president of congressional relations and chief economist for the Independent Community Bankers of America. “It’s different to get sympathy for regulatory relief versus adding to your powers, particularly since Congress is focused on tax reform. Any tax-exempt entity asking for new powers in this Congress, it’s not the best timing.”