March 24, 2017

This week: NAFCU eyes economic growth hearing, CUAC meeting, patent case

NAFCU staff this week will be monitoring congressional hearings on the role of financial companies in fostering economic growth and how small businesses confront regulations, along with the CFPB's Credit Union Advisory Council meeting and a Supreme Court case regarding the patent system.

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday will discuss the role of financial companies in fostering economic growth. Witnesses for the 9:30 a.m. hearing include former Federal Reserve Gov. Robert Heller, former FDIC Chairman Donald Powell and Professor of Economics and Chief Economist of AFL-CIO William Spriggs.

Last week, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, asked for legislative proposals to foster economic growth. NAFCU plans to submit recommendations.

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday examining how small businesses confront and shape regulations. The hearing, slated for 3 p.m. Eastern, includes witnesses from the National Association of Home Builders and the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

On Thursday, the CFPB's Credit Union Advisory Council meets to discuss alternative data and consumers' access to financial records. Several NAFCU-member representatives sit on the bureau's CUAC. NAFCU staff will attend the meeting.

On Monday, NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Ann Kossachev will attend Supreme Court arguments in a case regarding the patent system and the concentration of patent cases in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the defendants in the case, various businesses that are mostly in the technology sector, are looking to the Supreme Court to curb what they say is "pervasive and pernicious forum shopping" by those who claim to own the patents and seek damages.

NAFCU has previously asked lawmakers for patent reform to address the issue of demand letters and deceptive patent troll behavior towards credit unions.

In other hearings this week:

  • The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing Tuesday titled "The State of Bank Lending in America."
  • The House Small Business Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act and if burdens are being reduced.

Also, NAFCU members are encouraged to register for the association's member call-in Wednesday, "NAFCU Q1 Advocacy Update." The call begins at 4 p.m. Eastern.