Caucus speakers focus on economy, CFPB

9-12-12, Carlson at Caucus
  Tucker Carlson discussed the still-
  close odds in this year's elections.
Sept. 13, 2012 – Speakers at NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus Wednesday emphasized the looming fiscal cliff, shared diverse views on the Dodd-Frank Act and were universal in voicing accolades for credit unions and the work they do to meet their members’ needs.

House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., talked about his long acquaintance with credit unions and their mission of “working together to achieve a common good.” He was a founding member of C O FCU of Charleston, S.C., which was chartered in 1966 and today remains a member of two credit unions, while his wife belongs to a third. “I do believe the credit union philosophy is one we can learn a lot from up here in Washington,” he said.

9-12-12, Clyburn at Caucus
  House Assistant Democratic
  Leader James Clyburn said the
  "fiscal cliff" could be avoided under
  action in Congress' lame-duck
9-12-12, Becker at Caucus
  NAFCU President/CEO Fred
  Becker detailed the legislative and
  regulatory landscape.
                             - Hathcox photos
Clyburn, one of the 12 members of Congress named last year to the budget “super committee,” told Caucus participants he expects Congress and the administration will take some action before budget sequestration is scheduled under the Budget Control Act. Congress’ lame-duck session after the elections will likely produce a delay that will give the next Congress time to reach agreement, he said, adding there could be a continuing resolution lasting from three to 12 months.

In other Caucus addresses Wednesday:

  • NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel urged credit unions to be active in elections and work to support candidates who support what credit unions do. Remind Congress of “the great work credit unions do for establishing sensible credit and spreading financial literacy in states and communities” and to “urge new laws raising the member business loan cap and allowing alternative capital,” he said.
  • Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton talked about housing finance reform and the future of his enterprise and Fannie Mae. Layton said whatever structure GSEs take following the wind-down of these two entities, he expects the future will include a strong secondary mortgage market.
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., noting he is a long-time advocate of credit unions, said he helped craft the Dodd-Frank Act but said “no law can force a financial institution or investment advisor to do the right thing.” But he said credit unions “are setting the standard for what financial responsibility and customer service should look like.”
  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, countered Clyburn’s take on the deficit and said the country is indeed headed for that “fiscal cliff.” He said economic growth is being hampered by the deluge of Dodd-Frank Act rules. He said 95 percent of the housing finance system is controlled by the federal government, a situation that doesn’t sit well with him.

Today’s Caucus general session is set to kick off at 8:30 a.m.

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