FCRA Passes, But Other Bills Likely Are Stuck

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The reauthorization of the Fair Credit Reporting Act appears to be the final piece of credit union-related legislation that will reach the end of the tunnel this year

Congressional leaders have apparently agreed to hold off on moving the credit union-backed regulatory relief bill to a vote by the full House until next year. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the chairman of the Financial Services Financial Institutions Subcommittee, told The Credit Union Journal last week the bill won't be voted this year because, among other things, opposition by the banking lobby to the dozen or so credit union provisions. "Banks have said we give credit unions more than what we give the banks," said Bachus, after speaking to NAFCU's annual Congressional Caucus. "That's the hold-up."

The long-sought bankruptcy reform bill, though it remains alive, won't be acted on anytime soon, either, the hold-up being the controversial provision over the discharge of debts by abortion clinic protestors. The bill remains on life support as congressional leaders hope to break the logjam and move it to a vote, probably next year.

Another bill germinating that would provide some of the measures in regulatory relief is moving ever so slowly and has yet to be introduced.

Observers expect Congress to narrow its focus on more pressing issues like the war on Iraq and health care as the end of the year approaches. And the second year of a Congress, especially one as contentious as this one, is fraught with dangers in getting all but the most important bills passed as the elections approach.

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