Reg Relief Now Seen AsPing-Pong

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WASHINGTON - (06/05/06) – Credit union lobbyists wereworking last week to expand a regulatory relief bill passed theweek before by the Senate which was absent many of the credit unionprovisions in a bill passed earlier by the House. The Senate'sversion has only four credit union-specific provisions, compared to15 in the House bill. The situation creates a scenario where thebill could be ‘ping-ponged’ between the two chambers,until a mutually agreeable version is arrived at, according to DeanSagar, senior lobbyist for CUNA and a veteran of many congressionalping-pong matches until recently as senior staffer on the HouseFinancial Services Committee. That means that the House could nowtake up the Senate bill and seek to amend it. If the House doesamend it, the bill would be sent back to the Senate for anothervote. The House could take the Senate bill, add a few provisions onto it, then send it back to the Senate and see if they approve it,Sagar told The Credit Union Journal. The Senate version includesonly those provisions for credit unions that would: allow federalcharters to provide check cashing and wire transfers to non-memberswithin their fields of membership; extend the maturity on memberbusiness loans; fix a new accounting rule to allow credit unions tocontinuing pooling their capital after merging; and allow creditunions to continue paying discounted leases on federal property. Itdoesn't include several key credit union priorities that the Housebill has, which would: allow credit unions to retain their selectemployee groups after converting to community charter; allowprivately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Banksystem; raise the maximum amount a credit union may invest in aCUSO; allow NCUA, instead of Congress, to set permissibleinvestments for credit unions; or lift the cap on member businessloans. Neither bill includes the top credit union priority ofenacting a risk-based capital system for credit unions.

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