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WASHINGTON-The House overwhelmingly passed the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 3505), sending a strong message to the Senate to get moving on its legislation. While the bill was on the suspension calendar-which typically leads to noncontroversial items passing by voice vote-House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) requested a roll call vote. The House ultimately passed the legislation by a vote of 415-2. The bill received similar backing last Congress with a 392-25 vote. The purpose of calling the roll is often to get a more illustrative demonstration of support for the bill and prompt the Senate to move forward. The Senate has yet to introduce a bill because, while the House has formulated a compromise, the upper house of Congress has not reached an agreement on the issue of industrial loan company regulation. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), charged with writing the bill, said during a hearing last week that a bill would be coming shortly with a markup during March. Chairman Oxley is not seeking re-election at the end of this term and would like to make H.R. 3505 part of his legacy so a more concerted effort may be made to push the legislation on the books. Once the bill was officially on the House agenda, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote lawmakers urging their support for the reg relief measure. “As you know, the last major changes to the Federal Credit Union Act occurred in 1998,” Mica wrote. “The past eight years have provided an opportunity to identify unnecessary and outdated provisions and recommend common sense improvements. H.R. 3505 focuses on improving productivity and efficiency in a competitive and dynamic marketplace.” Mica’s letter did not mention risk-based capital reform or expanded business lending powers, which credit unions have been lobbying to add to the bill from the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 2317). NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker commented, “NAFCU is pleased to see strong, continued bipartisan support in Congress for much-needed regulatory relief for our nation’s credit unions and banking institutions. H.R. 3505 is the strongest relief bill yet, as it provides some much-needed easing in reporting requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act and protects credit union mergers under a pending accounting industry rule change.” He added that NAFCU would continue to work with Senator Crapo on the Senate package and seek cosponsors for CURIA. [email protected]

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