Nov. 1, 2013 – Credit unions may want to fasten their seatbelts for the months ahead, which will bring not only a raft of new mortgage rule compliance requirements, but a new budget battle in Washington, a possible worse sequestration and a fresh debt ceiling debate.
Members of a House-Senate budget conference, tasked with producing a budget resolution by Dec. 13, met Wednesday and discussed the upcoming sequester and tax and entitlement reforms. This 29-member committee will be seeking to reconcile budget bills passed by each chamber before a new $20 billion sequester hits on Jan. 18 and to avoid yet another government shutdown when the current agreement expires Jan. 15.
The House Republican budget plan calls for $967 billion in spending for fiscal 2014 for programs funded annually, while the Democrat-led Senate is holding to $1.058 trillion – a $91 billion difference.
Brad Thaler Katie Marisic
NAFCU lobbyists are staying close to these developments and looking for any signs that a deal may address at least some tax reforms, including those targeting tax “expenditures” such as the credit union federal corporate tax exemption. Last week, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler wrote the budget panel and urged the chairmen from both chambers to oppose any efforts to alter that exemption.
“Any effort to impose any new tax on credit unions would strike at the very core of how credit unions have operated since their inception and would have a negative impact on credit union members, other consumers, small businesses and the larger economy,” Thaler wrote in a letter to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Katie Marisic, NAFCU’s vice president of political affairs, said NAFCU remains vigilant. “Though it is unlikely that the credit union tax exemption or any major tax reform will be a part of the conference committee’s negotiations, there is still an appetite to get something accomplished this Congress,” she said.
The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13.