Senate Sponsor Sought for CURIA

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WASHINGTON – The credit union lobby was counting on Vermont’s Bernard Sanders to introduce their regulatory relief bill, known as CURIA, in the Senate, where he was elected to serve after eight terms in the House. But Sanders who promised to do so in September at NAFCU’s annual Congressional Caucus, was not appointed to the Banking Committee, where the CU Regulatory Improvements Act is sure to be referred. Sanders, the only self-avowed socialist in the Congress, was reported to have been kept off the panel by the powerful banking lobby, which has always been at odds with him. Kansas Republic Sam Brownback, one of six Senators running for president, had expressed interest in being chief sponsor of CURIA, but is not returning to the Banking Committee, where he served in the last Congress. So the credit union lobby is still searching for a champion in the Senate, where the bill has yet to be introduced. Members of the House Financial Services Committee, which has introduced versions of CURIA each of the last two congresses, are expected to introduce it again over the next few weeks. “That’s where we’re concentrating our efforts right now. We’ll think about the Senate later,” said one credit union lobbyist involved in the effort.

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