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NAFCU's 2019 Congressional Caucus

Didn't get a chance to travel down to Washington, D.C., for the annual National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions' Congressional Caucus?

Not a problem. We've got you covered. Read on for highlights from lawmakers and others who spoke during the event about important issues facing the industry.
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CECL is 'nonsensical'

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., expressed his dissent around the current expected credit loss standard, or CECL, that credit unions will have to comply with eventually.

To a room full of applause, Luetkemeyer said that CECL is "nonsensical and not necessary," noting that small credit unions will suffer the most.

Luetkemeyer also took some shots at the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

“At this point they refuse to intervene in another regulators space — but the problem is that FASB is not a regulator and they have a misconception that they are," he said.
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Increasing lending capabilities

“I support raising the arbitrary caps on credit union’s member lending capabilities," Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told attendees.

Waters, who oversees the House Financial Services Committee, closed out the Caucus by inviting credit unions to come work with her.
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Improving exam efficiency

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger told attendees that she has discussed with Rodney Hood, chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, methods to make exams more efficient and reduce overlap.

“We recognize that one size does not fit all when it comes to regulating the financial industry," Kraninger said.
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Economic tensions

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, raised concerns about negative interest rates.

“They make banking generally a lot harder,” he said.

Mulvaney made the comments on Tuesday, the day before President Donald Trump urged the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates to zero, or less, in a Wednesday morning tweet.
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Equal access to secondary market

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., expressed her support for credit unions, boasting that the industry's lending to small businesses has continued to expand. To continue fueling growth, she called for the member business lending cap to increase.

“Credit unions should have equal access to the secondary market and receive pricing based upon quality, not volume,” she said.
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Threats to banking cannabis

Though credit unions have only just begun dipping their toes into cannabis banking, some are not as enthusiastic as others.

Garth Van Meter, director of legislative affairs with Smart Approaches to Marijuana, warned credit union attendees about the health risks around marijuana.

"I would argue that changes to banking regulations cannot be divorced from the impact on financial health," he said during a panel. "The potency of the concentrates is mind boggling, and it’s the result of legalization. If you want to pour gas on that fire, opening up cannabis to the banking industry is an accelerant."