Tuesday, October 27, 2009


From CUNA News Now, October 27, 2009

Congress This Week: Overdraft on the Agenda
WASHINGTON (10/27/09)--The most noteworthy Washington news for credit unions may not happen until the end of the week as the House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on H.R. 3904, "The Overdraft Protection Act of 2009," for this Friday.

The legislation, introduced by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.), would, according to www.thomas.gov, "amend the Truth in Lending Act to establish fair and transparent practices related to the marketing and provision of overdraft coverage programs at depository institutions."

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), Daniel Maffei (D-N.Y.), Brad Miller (D-N.C.), Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate and the Federal Reserve is also reportedly working to address overdraft protections. House Financial Services Chair Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has also indicated that the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the plan for which could come to the House floor within the next month, could itself create new overdraft rules.

The Committee had not announced a witness list for the hearing at press time.

Another issue of interest to credit unions will be discussed on the Senate side on Thursday, with the Senate Judiciary Committee holding a markup session on S.1490, the "Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2009"; and S.139, the "Data Breach Notification Act."

The House later today will consider H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act. The Credit Union National Association has touted credit unions' ability to help small businesses in a tightening market through offering business loans to their members.

The House will also discuss H.R. 2996, the Interior Appropriations Bill, and begin work on a continuing resolution to fund the government until December 15, 2009.

The Senate also began consideration of H.R. 3548, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009, on Monday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Furlough Fridays won't close State Capitol

Click the link to read the official memo from the Department of Accounting and General Services regarding the closure of State office buildings on Furlough Fridays. The calendar is also attached. Both newspapers erroneously reported yesterday that the State Capitol would be closed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Furlough Fridays to Close State Buildings

Many state buildings will close 2 Fridays a month for the remainder of the fiscal year. This includes the State Capitol. No word yet on what this will mean for the coming 2010 Legislative Session.

Read the Star Bulletin article here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Credit CARD fix passed by House

From CUNA:

The House today, on a voice vote, passed a “fix” to the Credit CARD Act that clarifies the 21-day notification rule applies only to credit cards. We strongly supported the measure and have been working intently for its passage. As you well know, credit unions are reeling from the unintended consequence of the CARD Act that applies the law to all forms of open-end credit – threatening the very ability of credit unions to continue offering affordable credit to their millions of members.

During the discussion on the floor before the House vote, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., said the 21 day requirement on open-ended accounts was unintended and should not have been included in the CARD act. He added that the provision swept credit unions into the mix unintentionally and that credit unions were generally not responsible for abuses that led to passage of the CARD Act. He referred to (and submitted for the record) letters from CUNA and the NCUA, both of which urged him to fix the problem.

Also, he referenced the Missouri Credit Union Association and said it had successfully brought this matter to the attention of Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo. Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt. and the sponsor of the technical corrections bill, and Chris Lee, R-N.Y., also spoke, both stating the problem and the fix.

Senate action is still urgently needed for consumers and credit unions to realize relief. We are urging senators to take similar action as soon as possible.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hanabusa for Congress

In a well-attended press conference yesterday morning, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa announced that she would be running for Congressional District 1, the seat that will be vacated by Congressman Neil Abercrombie next year. Congressman Abercrombie intends to run for Governor. Other candidates for Congressional District 1 that have already announced their intention to run are Ed Case and Councilman Charles Djou.

Read the Honolulu Advertiser article here.