April 27, 2023

NAFCU’s advocacy team tracking issues on Hill

US Capitol buildingNAFCU’s advocacy team provided an update to the association’s Legislative Committee members Wednesday on efforts underway on Capitol Hill related to interchange, the CFPB, and digital assets. In addition, the association continues to monitor discussions related to government funding and the debt ceiling.

Related to government funding issues, the House Wednesday passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling and make funding cuts to certain programs, as well as adjust requirements for some programs. The Senate has not started work on its version to address the debt limit and some Democrats have urged the Biden Administration to restart negotiations with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The Treasury Department is expected to soon release its projected date the ceiling will be reached, though updated analyses indicate sometime in July is likely.

Today, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion holds a hearing on regulatory gaps in the digital assets market; NAFCU sent a letter reiterating credit unions’ priorities on the issue.

On interchange, NAFCU highlighted its ongoing advocacy against efforts to further cap interchange fees. While no bill has been formally introduced in either chamber this congressional session, NAFCU relentlessly advocated against interchange expansion last Congress and is prepared to fight back again. Credit unions are encouraged to join the association’s efforts via its Grassroots Action Center, through which members can send messages of opposition directly to senators and representatives.

In addition, NAFCU is leading efforts to increase accountability at the CFPB. NAFCU provided Legislative Committee members with insights into yesterday’s House Financial Services Committee markup, which included a package of NAFCU-sought CFPB reforms. The committee voted to advance the bill, as well as others related to capital access.

NAFCU also continues to push back on recent CFPB rulemakings, including its proposal to reduce the safe harbor for credit card late fees, that could have detrimental impacts on credit unions and consumers; NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger recently wrote an op-ed in RealClear Markets urging congressional leaders to hold the CFPB accountable and end the bureau’s “war against Main Street.” Senators have expressed concerns about the bureau’s “deceptive” efforts on fees that are legitimate, disclosed upfront, incentivize consumers to pay their bills on time, and enable companies to offset the costs of late payments and associated risks. NAFCU’s Grassroots Action Center has letters for credit unions to send directly to the CFPB ahead of the May 3 comment deadline for the proposal.

Stay tuned to NAFCU Today for the latest out of Washington.