Congresswoman Beatty Helps Lead Unanimous Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Assist Credit Union Customers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 16, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) helped lead the successful House passage of the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015, H.R. 299. The legislation will allow privately-insured credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, thereby providing individuals and businesses greater access to credit in a tight credit-market. H.R. 299 is being led Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15) and Congresswoman Beatty, and passed the House unanimously.
Congresswoman Beatty’s House Floor remarks (as prepared for delivery):
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015, H.R. 299.
I join Congressman Steve Stivers, in support of H.R. 299, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in bipartisan support for H.R. 299 – which I am the proud lead Democrat. We worked together to have H.R. 299 reported out of the House Financial Services Committee, 56-1. In fact, last year Mr. Speaker, this same bill unanimously passed the House on this floor, 395-0.
Mr. Speaker, as you have heard, H.R. 299, would permit privately-insured credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
A primary relief of Federal Home Loan Bank membership is access to low cost secured funding, which is a tremendous benefit to consumers.
H.R. 299, would not, however, mandate that privately-insured credit unions become members of a Federal Home Loan Bank.
Therefore, under this legislation, the Federal Home Loan Banks would maintain discretion to accept or reject a privately-insured credit union’s application for membership based on their risk tolerance and underwriting guidelines.
So why do we need this bill?
H.R. 299 is an extremely important piece of legislation for these privately-insured credit unions because it would help give members and businesses greater access to credit in a tight credit market.
Currently, there are approximately 6,400 credit unions across the country, including 128 to130 privately-insured credit unions. Of that number, 130 privately-insured credit unions, Mr. Speaker, 57 of them are in Ohio. Both Mr. Stivers, the sponsor of the bill, and I are from the great state of Ohio. These 57 privately-insured credit unions in Ohio serve more than 333,000 members in Ohio and roughly 145,000 members in my district.
Indeed, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015, H.R. 299, comes to the Floor today because of the very important role we believe credit unions play in consumer lending and home ownership across the country.
For instance, this bill would improve access to home mortgage loans for members of the three privately-insured credit unions that are actually based in my District, the Third district of Ohio, Whitehall Credit Union, Producers Employee Credit Union, and Central Credit Union. Additionally, this legislation has garnered strong support from the exclusive insurer of privately-insured credit unions across the country, American Share Insurance or ASI.
ASI, which is based in central Ohio, just north of my District, continues to provide employment for many Ohioans and has never had a privately-insured credit union depositor lose money. I urge support of H.R. 299 because this bipartisan legislation is good policy, is good for small credit unions, and may spur growth of small credit unions that serve the needs of its members — both individuals and businesses.
More importantly H.R. 299 has bipartisan, nationwide support for local communities and businesses. I believe that this legislation is a perfect example of the type of regular-order, Committee-driven action that we should use actually as a template for bipartisan cooperation in the House and which, if enacted, would bring real benefits to the national housing markets.
I urge Members to vote “YES” on H.R. 299, and I yield back the balance of my time.