New Congress Has New Agenda

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WASHINGTON - When it comes to issues related to financial services, the 112th Congress sworn into office last week is expected to focus on, among other things, the budget and activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the FDIC's plans for resolving systemically important institutions, implementation of the Volcker Rule, and new derivatives regulation.

"With financial reform, with the banks that are 'too big to fail'...we might come back to those," Rep. Judy Biggert, who will chair the housing and insurance subcommittee, told American Banker, an affiliate of Credit Union Journal. "The derivatives, I think, need another look. That is something that got skimmed over...things like that that went through where people didn't know the unintended consequences."

Other issues likely on Congress' plate:

• Corrections Bill: Lawmakers may also take a stab at a "corrections" bill that attempts to recalibrate parts of Dodd-Frank. But, as with other legislation, a Democratic majority in the Senate and the threat of presidential veto may limit those plans.

• Consumer Bureau: There is widespread speculation the GOP will attempt to gut the agency by crippling its funding.

While much of the attention will be on a Republican bid to repeal the healthcare legislation passed by the previous Congress, there are also now new chairman for the House's and Senate's respective financial services committees and a new agenda that will affect credit unions. GOP leaders have indicated their plan is to slow the pace of legislation and regulation.

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