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WASHINGTON-Members of the House are continuing to add their names to the list of co-sponsors for the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R.3579). The growing list of CURIA co-sponsors demonstrates credit unions’ political muscle, most recently adding Representatives Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Ken Lucas (D-Ky.), Robert Matsui (D-Calif.), John McHugh (R-N.Y.), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Congressmen Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) authored the bill. A total of 23 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors to the bill, including Representatives Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), C.L. (Butch) Otter (R-Idaho), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Representatives Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). The bill would push credit unions’ member business lending cap up to 20%, institute a risk-weighted system of Prompt Corrective Action, and allow credit unions to lease office space in underserved areas, as well as adding most of the credit union powers from the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 1375). CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn gave the organization’s Governmental Affairs Conference at the end of February some of the credit for the addition of co-sponsors. “There’s nothing like having people from home come into town and meet with their representatives face-to-face,” he observed. Last week, Kohn told reporters, “I know that not all those names have been released yet. More will be released this week.” As of deadline last week, no more co-sponsors had been added. “It’s not surprising,” NAFCU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Brad Thaler said. “Yes, we are pleased with the response.” He said the number of co-sponsors so early shows that this bill is a serious proposal. When members of Congress and their staff look at it, they do not see it as radical but as a “solid step.” “I think it’s a bill members of Congress can look at and agree with,” Kohn agreed. Thaler explained that all the credit union trades are encouraging members to talk with representatives about CURIA. CUNA, NAFCU, and NASCUS met earlier this year to discuss strategy for the bill The lobbyists said the bankers’ adamant opposition to CURIA is being heard on the Hill but is not gaining serious traction. Kohn said he has had some members tell him they will not co-sponsor the bill because they do not want to upset either side in an election year, but if it comes to a vote, they would vote in favor of it. [email protected]

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