ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Negotiations on H.R. 2622, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, are sliding into home as the legislative calendar continues to slip away. According to CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn, the conference committee staff has pretty much wrapped up most of the negotiations and the conferees hoped to have a face-to-face meeting last Thursday morning. "[T]hey guarantee that it will be done before Congress recesses," Kohn said. "We're pleased about that." The federal preemptions in the FCRA that prevent states from creating 50 different credit information sharing laws will expire at year-end if they are not reauthorized in time. At the least, Senate Banking Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chair of the conference committee, and House Financial Services Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) were likely to be called in to negotiations possibly just after our deadline last week, NAFCU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Brad Thaler said. The two sticking points between the Senate and House versions bills had been a provision in the House bill that prevents states from enacting tougher identity theft laws in certain areas and a Senate provision that can block some information sharing among affiliates. Those were apparently resolved. Details of the compromise were murky at deadline. "If the conference report can be agreed upon early this week," Thaler said last week, "and depending on what the remaining congressional schedule is, you could see a conference report come to both the House and Senate floor this week for an up or down vote." If the bill did not pass the House and Senate by the end of last week, he said he expected it to be wrapped up in an omnibus bill being prepared for the end of session. The situation remained fluid at press time. Last Friday, Nov. 21, was Congress' target adjournment date, but leadership in both chambers said work was likely to continue into Saturday in the House and possibly early this week for the Senate. NCUA recently raised concerns with lawmakers about the way the House version of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (H.R. 2622) stakes out the agency's jurisdiction. In sections 201 and 206 of the House bill, NCUA is given jurisdiction over all federally insured credit unions-including state charters-regarding guidance on identity theft patterns and red flagging credit and debit card accounts, according to NCUA Public and Congressional Affairs Director Cliff Northup. NCUA does not want this authority and has recommended that the Federal Trade Commission, as it does in other instances, have jurisdiction over federally insured, state chartered credit unions in these provisions. The Senate bill does not include such language, Northup said. Regarding these sections, CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn explained that they were very technical in nature and while CUNA is letting it be known it supports NCUA's stance, it has let NCUA take the lead on it. -

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