ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016 - (Page 26)
> GOVERNMENT RELATIONS OUTLOOK
Pumping It Up
After a holiday disappointment on Capitol Hill, bankers are
rebooting their political advocacy for 2016 and beyond.
BY EVAN SPARKS
ecember 2015 brought a setback to the banking
industry as-after years of advocacy and effort-
Congress failed to include meaningful regulatory
relief in the omnibus spending bill, an outcome that
ABA and the state associations fought hard for.
Despite the outcome, bankers are rallying themselves for
whatever gains they can make in 2016 and laying the
groundwork for major efforts with a new Congress and
president in 2017. That effort begins this month at ABA's
Government Relations Summit in Washington, when 1,000
bankers will take their message to Capitol Hill.
Just days before congressional negotiators finalized a 2016
spending bill that did not include regulatory relief, bankers
from across the country and representing every part of
the industry convened in Washington on Dec. 8 for the fall
meeting of ABA's Government Relations Council. What news
had filtered from Capitol Hill by the time of the meeting was
not optimistic. While they remained hopeful for a last-minute
breakthrough, the GRC members turned their attention to
2016 and beyond.
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MARCH/APRIL 2016
"We're profoundly disappointed that lawmakers were unable
to enact common-sense reforms in this session of Congress
that would help America's hometown banks better serve their
clients, customers and communities and make the loans
that drive our economy forward," said ABA President and
CEO Rob Nichols at the time. "Layers upon layers of ill-fitting
regulations have been applied to the whole industry, making
it much more difficult for customers to buy a home, expand a
small business or achieve other important financial goals."
The failure of regulatory relief provisions-especially
those with bipartisan backing and thorough vetting-was
compounded the week before by a measure in a federal
highway bill cutting the statutory dividend paid to banks with
assets of over $10 billion on Federal Reserve Bank stock.
Nichols memorably objected to "using banks as an E-ZPass
to pay for highways," but the damage was done and the
highway bill passed.
Led by GRC Chairman Paul Willson, chairman of Citizens
National Bank in Athens, Tenn. (for more on Willson, turn
to page 38), GRC members ruminated on the fact that
Congress saw little risk and everything to gain in stiffing the
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016
LEARNING THROUGH LITERATURE
PUMPING IT UP
CRE AT A CROSSROADS
LAYING A FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION
A PASSION FOR ADVOCACY
WHY BANK CONSOLIDATION IN THE U.S. WILL LIFT OFF IN 2016
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
BOOKS FOR BANKERS
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016
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