In a major setback for the bank lobby, S. 3637, the banks’ Transaction Account Guarantee Program (TAG) bill, has died in the U.S. Senate. By a vote of 50-42 on December 13, Senators voted against an effort to waive a Budget Point of Order for TAG. A vote of 60 was needed to overcome the point of order and take a vote on the bill itself. Missouri’s U.S. Senators split on the issue, with U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) voting in support and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) voting against.
The TAG legislation would have extended unlimited deposit insurance coverage granted during the financial crisis for noninterest bearing transaction accounts. Coverage is set to revert back to $250,000 at year's end without congressional action.
TAG was brought to the Senate floor without the Senate making a vote on S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act (the member business lending - MBL bill). Credit unions responded by lobbying against the TAG bill. The credit union call to action opposing TAG has ceased, effective December 13. The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) will provide alerts and updates if additional grassroots action is needed.
Efforts continue on the national level to insert the MBL bill in other pieces of legislation before year-end, and the Credit Union National Association will monitor any efforts by the banking lobby regarding TAG.
"We sent a clear message to Missouri's U.S. Senators that no action on TAG should be taken without action on member business lending legislation," says Don Cohenour, MCUA interim president/CEO. "Thank you to everyone who called or wrote our Senators in conveying this important point."