And as CUNA Chief Advocacy
Officer Ryan Donovan said, when
discussing data se-
curity, “If we don’t
talk about it, the is-
Here are some of
the issues affecting
credit unions that
might – or might
not – be tackled
between now and
the end of the year.
Funding for large parts of the federal government expires on Sept.
30, the end of the current fiscal
year. So Congress must pass individual appropriations bills, legislation that combines several
funding measures or a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded at current levels.
If none of those things occur,
large parts of the federal government would again be forced to
The NCUA and the CFPB are
not funded through the appropriations process, so they
would stay open even if funding
lapses for much of the federal
However, credit union officials
do care about some programs that
are subject to the appropriations
process – most notably the Community Development Financial
The Trump Administration has
proposed eliminating the program, but Congress has repeatedly rejected that proposal.
In fact, the House has passed
funding legislation that would
give the program more than $300
million for the next fiscal year. The
Senate has not started its appropriations process.
But Congress has expressed
strong support for the CDFI program in the past.
“At this point, I don’t have any
concerns that won’t be the case” in
the next fiscal year, Donovan said.
“Credit unions have been en-
gaged in ongoing efforts to keep
Community Development Finan-
cial Institution funding at a level
higher than [this] fiscal year,” John
McKechnie, senior partner at To-
tal Spectrum, said.
Thaler agreed that given the
widespread support of the CDFI
program, “We’re cautiously op-
timistic that the funding will be
Banking on Military Bases
The House and Senate has each
passed its version of the annual defense authorization, and
now conferees must reconcile
the differences between the two
The Senate bill would provide banks with the same free
rent benefits that credit unions
now have on military bases; the
House-passed bill would not.
As it might be expected, credit
unions are pushing the House
“Not having any language in the
House bill is a positive step,” Donovan said, adding that many state
credit union leagues will be in
Washington over the next couple
of months lobbying on the issue.
“These things take time to develop,” he said.
“We feel we’re in a pretty good
position,” Thaler said, adding that
there are other huge issues in the
bills that must be worked out.
McKechnie agreed that the issue may drag on for a while.
“Most Hill staff believe that
conference will stretch into October or later; regardless of the time-frame, credit union activists continue to make their case against
this handout to an extraordinarily
profitable banking industry,” he
CUNA and the American Bankers Association have been pushing House legislation that would
provide financial institutions
with a safe harbor if they provide
services to marijuana-related
The House Financial Services
Committee has approved the
legislation, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Earl Perlmutter of
Colorado and Denny Heck of
However, the bill has not gone
to the House floor yet.
Senate Republicans, who control the majority in that chamber,
traditionally have opposed marijuana legislation.
The Senate Banking Committee
held the Senate’s first hearing before the August recess, but Chairman Mike Crapo (D-Id.) has not
said whether the panel will consider the legislation.
Donovan said the House could
pass the legislation this year, but
he is uncertain about Senate
Characterizing the marijuana
legislation, Donovan said, “It’s a
marathon, not a sprint.”
Donovan said that as a result of
several high-profile data breach-es, there may be momentum for
Congress to finally enact legislation dealing with the handling of
He emphasized, however, that
the issue of data privacy must be
coupled with security.
“You can’t have data privacy
without data security,” he said.
For several years, the data security issue has centered on a fight
between financial institutions and
retailers. Banks and credit unions
have argued that merchants
should be subject to the same
data security standards that they
must comply with.
Merchants have opposed such
“There have been a lot of discussions,” Donovan said, adding
that he does not yet see a path that
could result in legislation quickly.
“Congress has unfortunately
left upgrades to the data security
process by the wayside, and it’s
time for the law to be changed
to get merchants into the serious
business of consumer protection
in this area,” McKechnie said. “I
hope credit unions persist in delivering this message.”
Congress is struggling with other
issues that credit union officials
For instance, bipartisan groups
in both houses have been working on legislation updating the
Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money
“Bank Secrecy Act modernization should be a priority,” McKechnie said, adding that Congress
could increase the thresholds for
reporting suspicious activities.
Thaler and Donovan agreed that
the legislation should be a priority, but Thaler added there still are
issues that must be reconciled.
Thaler also said there could be
an effort to resolve House and
Senate differences in legislation
“There will be an effort to reconcile those,” he said, adding that
there could be an incentive to
enact such a bill. “Nobody likes
CONT. FROM PAGE 1
Y Credit union officials are mapping out
important issues to tackle with legislators for
the rest of 2019.
Y CDFI, marijuana banking and banking on
military bases appear to top the legislative list.
Y Credit union leaders are also hopeful
Congress will finally enact legislation dealing
with data security.