Compliance Blog

Oct 27, 2014

Election Day and Lame Duck Congress around the Corner

Written by, Jillian Pevo, Director of Legislative Affairs               

It seems like we are in a perpetual campaign cycle here in Washington, DC, I’m sure many of you have seen enough political commercials, yard signs and shameless self-promotion in the last six months to last a lifetime. The stakes seem to be pretty high for a midterm election with Senate Democrats fighting to keep a razor thin majority and a number of competitive statewide races that could go either way. In the House of Representatives, Republicans are expected to retain their majority but there will still be some personnel changes on key committees. With just over a week to go, national headlines are being dominated by issues of concern to many Americans including the government’s response to the Ebola virus and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). These high-profile issues and others could sway undecided voters as they head to the polls next Tuesday. 

Regardless of election outcomes, the current Congress is scheduled to reconvene one last time after election day for a “lame duck” session.  While much of the session’s agenda will be shaped by what happens on election day and who will control Congress in January, there are a few items that are very likely to see action, including government funding and expiring tax provisions known as tax extenders. At NAFCU, we will continue to push the Senate to take up House-passed regulatory relief measures that will make small but positive changes at our nation’s credit unions. These measures include:

  • Exempting financial institutions from sending annual privacy notice disclosures when policies have not changed (House-passed H.R. 749/S. 635 awaits Senate action).  While the CFPB has recently acted on this issue, we believe a legislative solution is the better answer in the long run;
  • Providing credit unions parity with FDIC-insured institutions when it comes to deposit insurance coverage on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts or IOLTAs (House-passed H.R. 3648/S. 2699 awaiting Senate action); and
  • Amending the calculation of points and fees under the CFPB’s qualified mortgage rule (House-passed H.R. 3211/S. 1577 awaiting Senate action).        

While legislative action this Congress is unlikely, NAFCU will also continue to push lawmakers to address the lack of national data security standards at retailers. Countless breaches occurred while Congress was out of session including the massive Home Depot breach. NAFCU has called for the creation of a bipartisan-bicameral Congressional working group to get key lawmakers together to devise a set of legislative policy prescriptions that would put standards into place at retailers and ensure that they are financially liable when a breach occurs on their end. President Obama recently called for national legislation to address ongoing data security breaches and we are hopeful that Congress acts with urgency.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to NAFCU’s Legislative Affairs division should you have any questions about matters before Congress. And, don’t forget to vote!