Proposed legislation would deal fatal blow to the industry

This is one of those blogs where I have to remind you all that the opinions I express, are mine and mine alone.

Why do I feel the need to make that qualifier today? Because in my opinion, the credit union industry faces it’s most credible legislative threat to its long-term existence than it has in at least the decade I have been involved in the industry.

The proposal to which I am referring (§9 H.R. 3280) would subject the NCUA to the congressional budget process. Why is this such a pernicious threat? Because through the budget process, the Banker’s Association, aided and abetted by their allies in Congress, would gradually strip the NCUA of needed resources and use the appropriations process to stifle needed regulatory reforms. For example, an agency subject to the congressional appropriations process would be much less likely to champion Field of Membership improvements that help credit unions serve more members.

Supporters of this bill would tell you that NCUA is being treated no differently than other independent agencies that House Republicans are proposing should be subject to its oversight. This argument has a certain facial appeal. After all, a strong argument can be made that independent agencies like the CFPB are unconstitutional. But in reality, this proposal has nothing to do with constitutional niceties. Unlike the CFPB, a multi-member board already oversees NCUA’s operations.

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