September 11, 2017

Economic growth, reg relief, tax reform headline NAFCU's Caucus

Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, spoke to hundreds of Congressional Caucus attendees Monday about the administration's new directions in economic policy and specifically discussed economic growth.

In addition to Calabria, Caucus attendees Monday heard from three members of the House Financial Services Committee on issues affecting the credit union industry, including regulatory relief, tax reform and preservation of credit unions' federal tax exemption.

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Dan Kildee, D-Mich., highlighted their individual efforts to work for credit unions' best interests, but there was one common thread among all three: support of credit unions' tax-exempt status.

Sherman noted that any projected revenue increases from the exemption elimination are exaggerated, and McHenry criticized groups that ask Congress to make it more difficult for credit unions to operate.

In addition to protecting credit unions' not-for-profit tax status, the lawmakers also addressed these issues:

  • Tax reform: McHenry said "the meat of legislative work this fall is on tax reform." He expects the House to release more details in mid- to late-October, with a deal potentially reached in early December.
  • Regulatory relief: Sherman said he will continue to work to eliminate the Durbin amendment, and Kildee acknowledged that Congress "need[s] to ensure the risky behaviors that took place in the marketplace aren't allowed to be repeated, but those that weren't involved in the crisis shouldn't be penalized just for being in the same sector." McHenry expects a bill that addresses regulatory relief to come out of the Senate before Christmas and potentially passed in late 2018.
  • Housing finance reform: On government-sponsored enterprise reform, Kildee advocated for government-ensured access to home mortgages and highlighted the importance of 30-year fixed mortgages in helping Americans own a home.
  • Data security: The Equifax data breach remained on Congressional Caucus attendees' minds, and Sherman placed responsibility for preventing future breaches on retailers. "We need data security," Sherman said. "We need the retailers to treat this data as if a breach would cost them money."

NAFCU's Caucus runs through Wednesday in Washington. Follow the hashtag #NAFCUCaucus on Twitter for the latest information.