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WASHINGTON-Typically, one year does not a law make, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney explained. The Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act is no exception. “Like most bills in Congress, it often takes one or more sessions of Congress for members and the public to fully understand an issue at hand and to take action,” she said. “In the case of CURIA, it is my hope that such a common-sense and beneficial bill will have gained the necessary momentum by now to gain serious consideration this year. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I certainly plan on being an out-spoken advocate.” Maloney was a primary co-sponsor to the bill last time around and plans to do so again in the 109th Congress. “I have sponsored CURIA because it addresses what I think are shortcomings in federal law that prevent credit unions from fully meeting the changing financial needs of their members and communities,” she stated. Of particular note are the stringent capital requirements credit unions currently face. “Capital requirements for credit unions are set at a flat rate as a percentage of assets without regard to the risk these institutions pose to the federal deposit insurance fund,” Maloney noted. “The bill directs the National Credit Union Administration to implement a system of risk-based capital that will enhance the safety and soundness of the credit union system by better matching required capital levels to the risk posed by each insured credit union.” The flexibility in business lending offered in the legislation is also important to credit unions, she said. “CURIA will promote small business development by allowing credit unions to lend members up to 20% of their total assets in small business loans. This will make additional sources of credit available to our nation’s small businesses,” Maloney said. She pointed out that Treasury recently found credit union business loans low-risk. She also championed CURIA’s provisions to reach out to the unbanked. The congresswoman said, “Restrictions in law that prevent credit unions from reaching out to underserved communities are also addressed. Currently, credit unions may only provide financial services to members. The bill would make lifeline-banking services such as check cashing and international remittances available to anyone eligible to become a credit union member.” Maloney added, “The role the credit unions play within the communities they serve is invaluable. By putting members in charge, credit unions are as responsive and customer-friendly as any financial services institution. Since credit unions are not concerned with turning out a profit, they always put their members first.” Congresswoman Maloney is “a happy member” of Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union. She represents the 14th district of New York, including the East Side, Astoria and Long Island City, Queens. Before coming to Congress in 1992, she served for 10 years on the New York City Council. Maloney has never lost an election and won reelection in 2004 with 81% of the vote. She serves on the House Financial Services Committee, the Government Reform Committee and is the ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee. Maloney is a graduate of Greensboro College. She worked for several years as a teacher and an administrator for the New York City Board of Education before she began work in the New York State legislature in 1977. She lives in New York City with her husband, Clifton, and has two daughters. [email protected]

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