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|COVID-19 Advocacy Priorities|
DCUC recently wrote the Secretary of the Treasury and the SBA Administrator regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. We highlighted
many concerns with implementing the program, removing regulatory barriers such as Member Business Lending caps and Military Lending Act
restrictions against lending to military. DCUC was among the first to advocate for including credit unions as borrowers since many credit
unions are also small businesses. Given the extended Presidential guidelines for staying at home, we believe more people will continue to be affected. Thus, DCUC was among the first to advocate for Temporary Removal of Member Business Lending caps for COVID-19 relief, not
just for veterans, but for ALL borrowers and credit unions. These restrictions remain intact via the Paycheck Protection Program and DCUC
has engaged with Treasury/SBA to address these limitations. Now is the time to advocate for removal of these restrictions.
DCUC continues to engage the NCUA for inclusion of APO/FPO addresses in Low Income Credit Union applications. We were informed during
our Defense Matters Forum that final approval is awaiting Chairman Hood’s signature. Approval would allow more credit unions to become
LICUs, which would allow them to make more loans (i.e., not restricted by MBL caps), while also accepting non-member deposits, issuing
secondary capital, and applying for grants; all of which help credit unions offer more help to hurting families and businesses. In fact, NCUA
issued a call for grant applications (up to $10,000 per hardship). We believe more credit unions would take advantage of this offer if they
could become LICUs.
NCUA, in concert with many other federal regulators, issued a press release encouraging credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses affected by COVID-19. DCUC asked if the agency and the CFPB would be releasing restrictions on the Military Lending Act Exemptions for small dollar lending. Our concern is the act prevents many of the same responsible small dollar loans from being
offered to military borrowers (i.e., military get discriminated). The ability to obtain a small-dollar loan to make ends meet is crucial for military
families. NCUA informed us they have posed this question to CFPB via their COVID-19 task force.
DCUC continues our push for passage of H.R. 2305 – Veteran Business Lending Exemption either as stand-alone legislation or for inclusion in
a potential Phase 4 COVID-19 relief package. This legislation was introduced last year and maintains growing bi-partisan support. DCUC will
continue to address this issue.
DCUC continues to remain vigilant on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Mark-Up process. HASC Chairman Adam Smith and
Ranking Member Mac Thornberry introduced H.R. 6395, which is the text of the DoD’s proposal for sustained DoD operations. It is solely a
DoD product and doesn’t reflect any Congressional items, which will be added shortly. HASC still plans to markup the NDAA by April 30, and
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s staff indicated May floor action is likely. DCUC will remain vigilant on any bank lobby proposal on leases.