Congress Hammers Last Nail In The Coffin For CURIA

Credit Union Journal | Monday, November 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – Any chance that Congress would pass at least a portion of the credit union regulatory relief bill known as CURIA were dashed on Friday when House leaders announced they won’t seek an economic stimulus package when they return to Capitol Hill later this week for a brief "lame duck" session.

The credit union lobby had been working to convince lawmakers to include CURIA’s two main provisions, a risk-based capital system for credit union and an increase in the business loan limits, onto an economic stimulus bill. But major differences between congressional leaders and the Bush administration convinced lawmakers to hold off on a stimulus bill until after a Democratic administration takes office in January.

The credit union lobby has been working through three congresses–six years–to get CURIA passed. Hope was raised earlier this year when a slimmed down version, without the two main provisions, was introduced in the House. Then House leaders pared the bill back even further and combined it with a regulatory relief bill for banks–known by the unwieldy name of the Credit Union Bank and Thrift Regulatory Relief Act.

But the financial crisis, which has spawned a congressional backlash against deregulation effectively killed CUBTRRA. Now, with congressional growing against deregulation of financial services, the prospects of CURIA in the next congress grow even murkier.