GOP Members Will Try to Kill Credit Union FOM Expansion Measure

A credit union FOM expansion measure focused on underserved areas has been met with resistance by both Republicans and bankers. Learn why.

David Baumann


Jun 13



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David Baumann

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David Baumann

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Underserved area field of membership provision met with resistance from bankers and Republicans.

As the House prepares to consider legislation allowing credit unions to expand their fields of membership to underserved areas, two House Republicans are seeking to offer amendments to kill the proposal.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Thursday that Democrats are planning to bring H.R. 2543 to the floor this week.

The House Rules Committee will meet today to consider which amendments—if any—it will permit to be offered.

House Financial Services Committee Republican Reps. Andy Barr of Kentucky and William Timmons of South Carolina have filed requests to offer amendments to simply delete the field of membership provisions from the bill. Timmons’ amendment would also strike several other provisions from the legislation.

The Rules Committee will vote on which amendments will be offered and since the panel is controlled by Democrats, the two amendments may not make it to the House floor.

The credit union provisions in question would expand the ability of all credit unions to serve underserved areas, that is, census tracts in which 85% of the area qualifies as low-income or areas that are at least ten miles from a branch of a depository institution.

Pushback from Banks

Banking trade groups have mobilized in opposition to these provisions, asking that they be deleted from the larger bill.

The credit union plan “is a self-serving piece of credit union legislation masquerading as a financial inclusion initiative,” the American Bankers Association and state banking associations wrote in a letter to House members last week.

The letter goes on to contend that “Expanding financial access to underserved communities is an important and shared goal. Loosening credit union membership criteria under the guise of financial inclusion and without appropriate consumer protections, however, is not.

Full Week Ahead

This week promises to be a busy one for financial services legislation on Capitol Hill.

The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to mark up 12 bills on Tuesday, including H.R. 5912, which would expand supervision of Industrial Loan Companies (ILCs). ILCs are owned by commercial companies that are not supervised by a banking regulator. The committee also is scheduled to consider H.R. 4277—legislation that would, among other things, limit the number overdraft fees a consumer may be charged each month and require that such fees be reasonable.

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