CUs Shouldn't Expect Much From Congress

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Lawmakers will return to work briefly before the end of the year, but don't expect a lot to be accomplished, at least in the financial services area.

Credit union priorities such as regulatory relief, CURIA, online data security and check indemnification for hurricane relief, are widely expected to fall by the wayside as lawmakers struggle to finish up spending bills and get out of town for their Christmas break-much like college students.

Even major initiatives, such as those aimed at rebuilding hurricane-torn Louisiana or flood insurance proposals, will wait until next year-an increasingly favorite dodge of lawmakers, who more and more prefer to wait until the second year of the two-year Congress to tackle major or controversial issues.

The problem with this strategy is that, first, all bills then bump up against campaigning, which skews legislative priorities even more towards those interests that can most help a lawmaker get reelected. And second, the second year always consists of shorter legislative calendars, as little, if anything, ever gets done in the weeks leading up to November elections and the weeks following them.

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