November 14, 2017

Senate Finance to begin taking up tax bill amendments today

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to begin addressing members' amendments to the Senate's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act today. The current version of the bill maintains credit unions' tax exemption; NAFCU remains engaged on Capitol Hill to ensure any amendments to the bill do not affect the industry's tax status.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, worked on an update to his chairman's mark on the bill yesterday in order to address some of the input from the filed amendments.

Senators also indicated Tuesday the bill would be amended to include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which is likely to complicate the Senate's process to pass the legislation. The tax reform bill is being moved through the reconciliation process, which requires only a simple majority to pass; however, a few Republican senators are unlikely to support the bill with the individual mandate repeal included.

In a letter sent to Hatch Monday, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger touted the positive impact credit unions and their tax-exempt status have on the nation's economy.

"As you are aware, credit unions provide great economic benefit to the nation's economy," Berger wrote. "Credit unions are a vital part of the financial services industry and provide their nearly 110 million members financial opportunities they may not otherwise have access to. The cumulative benefit credit unions provide the greater economy totals $16 billion a year according to an independent study released by NAFCU in 2017."

The Senate Finance Committee will continue its mark-up today at 9 a.m. Eastern. The committee opened its mark-up on the legislation Monday and members continued to ask questions regarding the legislation and tax reform efforts during Tuesday's hearing.

NAFCU is advocating five tenets for ensuring a positive environment for credit unions, and one of these is a fair playing field. NAFCU will continue to monitor the committee's mark-up of the bill throughout the week and will be engaging Congress on any potential impact this legislation would have on credit unions – not only with respect to the tax exemption, but other tax code provisions as well.

Preserving credit unions' tax exemption remains NAFCU's top legislative priority.