September 14, 2017

NAFCU, CUs successful at keeping NCUA out of approps process

The credit union industry scored a big win Wednesday as the House passed a NAFCU-sought amendment to keep the NCUA out of the appropriations process.

The amendment, which passed by a voice vote, was offered by Reps. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., and Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., and struck out section 906 of Division D, which subjected the NCUA to the congressional appropriations process. The House began voting on amendments to the fiscal 2018 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354) last week.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger thanked the lawmakers for standing up for credit unions and the independence of their federal regulator.

"The NCUA is an independent federal regulator funded by the nation's federally-insured credit unions, and today's amendment is important in preserving that independence," Berger said yesterday. "NAFCU and credit unions extend a heartfelt thanks to Representatives Amodei and Aguilar for standing up for the nation's not-for-profit credit unions and the 110 million members they serve nationwide."

The larger bill, expected to be voted on today, also contains some NAFCU-backed regulatory relief provisions and NAFCU-sought funding for the NCUA Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.

With the passage of this amendment, the integrity of the NCUA as an independent regulator of the credit union industry will be maintained. It also ensures that credit union resources are kept separate from taxpayer resources.

NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler made the case for the amendment from the Congressional Caucus stage on Wednesday. The association has been encouraging lawmakers and urging credit unions to ask their lawmakers to support the amendment throughout the past week.

NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt urged lawmakers to support the amendment in a letter last week to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"NCUA has a long, successful track record as an independent regulator of credit unions, and is fully funded by the industry," she wrote. "Subjecting NCUA to the appropriations process could potentially increase costs to credit unions and their 110 million members. It could also impact the ability of NCUA to effectively regulate the industry."

The letter was also sent to all House members.