<p>WASHINGTON – NCUA Board nominees JoAnn Johnson and Deborah Matz have the support of the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), but nonetheless faced questions at their March 14 confirmation hearing about ongoing credit union tensions. Sarbanes raised the issue of the tension he described between some credit unions wishing to grow and push the envelope on fields of membership and offering more services to their members and credit unions’ tax exemption and having a separate regulator. Outgoing Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) cautioned the pair against allowing credit unions to do any business lending, stating at one point that such lending was incompatible with credit unionism. Johnson and Matz also faced questions about the overhead transfer rate that, they said, they would be willing to study more and work on with the committee. Sarbanes indicated that the next step would be to find some time before the Senate spring or Easter break to get members of the committee to vote on the nominations. Sarbanes indicated that before the vote, Matz and Johnson might face additional questions in writing from senators who had not come to the sparsely attended hearing.</p>

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