ICBA United to Work with Divided Congress

Congress will have a new look when it returns to Washington this week. With a Republican House and Democratic Senate following November’s elections, many pundits have predicted a return to gridlock on Capitol Hill in 2011.

While a split Congress will surely face new challenges in reaching consensus on various issues, I believe our nation often works best under a split government. Divided government has resulted in some of our nation’s greatest accomplishments and frequently has tempered the push for undesirable policies, as laws tend to be more balanced and moderate when both parties are forced to come together.

We do not yet know how Congress will proceed in 2011, but we do know that ICBA will be there every step of the way vigorously advocating on behalf of the nation’s community banks. The association looks forward to continuing to work with both parties on a variety of issues critical to the community banking industry. And something upon which we can all agree is that ICBA is never divided in its singular mission to promote and advance the interests of Main Street America’s community banks.

7 thoughts on “ICBA United to Work with Divided Congress

  1. I agree that the federal government seems to work better if divided between the parties. Clinton was a better president after losing the house.
    There is a difference between management and leadership. Obama has made good choices in stabilizing the economy but gets no credit. Who is to blame for that – not the electorate.. The need in government is for both, management and leadership. We the people need to judge our elected representatives on both – but by weighing the value of each.

    • Jagdish: Yes, making community bank preferred shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac whole continues to be a high priority for ICBA. The debate over housing finance is expected to really take off once the Obama administration releases its proposal on the secondary market, which is expected this month.

      ICBA has met with regulators and testified before Congress repeatedly on this issue and detailed its views on housing-finance reform in a comprehensive letter to Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We will continue to lead the push on GSE preferreds as the debate continues.

      • Cam, thanks for your reply. I remember each and every letter that ICBA has sent out (including the one just before “ambush”). My confidence was shaken a bit because I did NOT see any communication from ICBA since Mid 2010 on the GSE preferred issue. Ever since your clearly worded letter to treasury just before “ambush”, I still consider you and ICBA the “last men standing” to bring justice to our preferred stake.

      • Wayne: Thanks for your question. Because of the nature of the survey on community bank holdings of GSE preferred shares, ICBA is not publicly releasing the results. However, the information provided was valuable as ICBA pursues various means of making these shares whole for the nation’s community banks.

  2. ICBA needs to do a lot of PR, be it paying to CNN for an Ad or getting on it or articles in WSJ or Post or in NYT. This issue has become political and they hear it well from the press.

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