Strong Push Needed in the Senate as S. 2155 Nears Floor Debate
Dear Independent Community Bankers:
With Congress scheduled to return to Washington next week, now is a good time for a progress report on high-priority ICBA-advocated legislation to provide comprehensive community bank regulatory relief.
The full Senate is expected to begin taking up the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) in the days ahead. The legislation enjoys broad bipartisan support following its passage in December by the Senate Banking Committee on a strong 16-7 vote. It now has 26 co-sponsors, including 13 Republicans, 12 Democrats and one Independent—offering a promising outlook for the upcoming Senate floor debate.
This is your senators’ best opportunity to demonstrate their support for the community banking sector and the communities you serve. If your senators are not co-sponsors of S. 2155, please contact them immediately and urge their support.
As you know, S. 2155 includes numerous provisions from ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform to provide relief from mortgage, capital, data-reporting and many other rules that pose a disproportionate burden to community banks. And these are policies ICBA has crafted, advocated and testified on for several years. Many of the items in S. 2155 have passed a House or Senate committee by a bipartisan vote as separate legislation. This will be looked upon favorably when the legislation comes over to the House upon Senate approval.
To build sustained momentum for this comprehensive legislation, ICBA has waged a comprehensive advocacy campaign to generate support for the legislation on Capitol Hill and across the country. ICBA has met with key policymakers on both sides of the aisle, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). And last week we launched a multistate radio ad campaign urging key senators to support S. 2155 and thanking some of those who have already signed on. That media buy followed a series of targeted op-eds from ICBA community bankers in key states urging passage of the bill in local newspapers from Baltimore to Santa Fe. Additionally, 43 state community banking groups weighed in with a letter urging lawmakers to pass this important relief.
Altogether, ICBA and community banks are well-positioned in the forthcoming debate—but we need all community bankers to continue to be heard in the halls of Congress. Don’t miss this opportunity to weigh in when it is most needed. Fortunately, ICBA’s online resource center on S. 2155 offers everything you need to weigh in, including customizable tweets and emails to Congress and tips for placing a local op-ed.
Thank you, community bankers, for your tireless efforts to advance this landmark legislation, but your continued outreach is truly needed to ensure final passage. Please continue to stand up and be heard today!