ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016 - (Page 26)

FEATURE > 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 D 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. 'Profound disappointment' 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. 26 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

CHAIRMAN’S VIEW
UPFRONT
PICTURE THIS
LEGAL BRIEFS
LEARNING THROUGH LITERATURE
PUMPING IT UP
CRE AT A CROSSROADS
LAYING A FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION
A PASSION FOR ADVOCACY
MARKETING
CEO ROUNDTABLE
WHY BANK CONSOLIDATION IN THE U.S. WILL LIFT OFF IN 2016
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
PAYMENTS
CYBERSECURITY
FRAUD
BOOKS FOR BANKERS
BOARD MATTERS
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016

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