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WASHINGTON – By a vote of 379-49 in the House and unanimously in the Senate, Congress reauthorized the Fair Credit Reporting Act over the weekend of November 21 and 22 and has sent the enrolled legislation to the President for his signature, according to credit union lobbyists. The president is expected to sign the legislation in the coming week, the lobbyists said. “We were very pleased with the strong bipartisan support on the vote,” said Brad Thaler, Legislative Director for NAFCU. “In the end the only opponents in the House were a few California legislators upset with the bill’s provisions for preempting their California law,” Thaler explained, “along with a few state’s rights Republicans.” The House passed the legislation late on Friday and the Senate passed it by unanimous consent on Saturday. Gary Kohn, Senior Legislative Counsel for CUNA, also expressed satisfaction with the bill’s passage, calling it yet another of CUNA’s legislative victories this year. The other legislation was the so-called “Check 21″ act. “This critical measure, a major legislative achievement, continues uninterrupted our national system of credit reporting and, importantly, ensures that the credit-based transactions of credit union consumer-members are completed smoothly, quickly and efficiently,” CUNA CEO Dan Mica also said. The pending budget legislation appeared to be on a slower track. The VA/HUD/independent agencies bill funding the Central Liquidity Facility will fund expenditures for 2004 and a borrowing limit of $1.5 billion, but has yet to pass. NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund for Credit Unions and Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund are also still awaiting final approval. The House has passed an omnibus package and headed home, but the House leadership has left the door open to call legislators back if the Senate passes the revised language with amendments that need final House approval. If the Senate does not pass the House version the Congress will leave the package until it returns on January 20, 2004. The federal government is operating under a continuing budget resolution through the end of January. -

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