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This Week in Washington

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It has been a busy week as legislators make the most of this year’s extra day. Surprise announcements, important roundtable discussions, funding deals, and legislative markups have ensured that Leap Week 2024 has not been boring.

The End of an Era: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the longest-serving Senate leader in history, announced yesterday that he would be stepping down from that position in November.

Leader McConnell, who came to the Senate in 1985, has served as the Leader of the Senate Republican Conference since 2007. Yesterday, in his surprise announcement on the floor, he said that “One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter, so I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.” Leader McConnell has been a strong supporter of AFSA issues, most recently attempting to rein in the CFPB as a part of the “runaway regulatory state” last fall. After November Leader McConnell will continue to serve in the Senate as the senior Senator from Kentucky.

This announcement begins an eight-month leadership race within the Republican Conference. Although no senator has officially announced a run for leader, a handful have been widely discussed as likely successors. Sens. John Thune (R-SD), John Cornyn (R-TX), and John Barrasso (R-WY) have all served or are serving in leadership positions and have previously indicated their willingness to run.

Financial Inclusion Roundtable: Yesterday, as a part of his efforts to bring awareness to Capitol Hill during Black History Month, Ranking Member Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) hosted a roundtable with Black investors and business founders to discuss ways to improve minority communities’ access to capital and the ability to build wealth.

AFSA attended the roundtable to learn more about the financial inclusion and financial literacy initiatives Ranking Member Scott and the roundtable participants were advocating. As AFSA has continued to be involved with the Department of Treasury’s financial inclusion efforts, providing all Americans with the tools they need to achieve financial security is a goal that AFSA and its members have long shared with Ranking Member Scott.

New Funding Deal: Congressional leaders have announced yet another short-term funding deal, making it feel more like Groundhog Day than Leap Day. To head off a partial government shut down on Saturday, the deal extends funding for some government agencies until March 8 and the rest until March 22.

This sets up a potential vote next week for six of the twelve appropriations bills that fund the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Interior, Energy, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development. Lawmakers would then have two more weeks to pass the remaining six spending bills that include funding for the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, Health and Human Services, and Labor.

House Financial Services Markup: Today, AFSA will be watching the House Financial Services Committee markup.

The markup will be on twelve bills, including Chairman Patrick McHenry’s “Financial Services Innovation Act,” which would require federal regulators to create Financial Services Innovation Offices (FSIOs) within their agencies to foster innovation. Once established, companies may apply for an “enforceable compliance agreement” with the respective FSIOs that, if accepted, will allow them to provide an innovative product or service under an alternative compliance plan. This would apply to the CFPB. Chairman McHenry has introduced this legislation before, but it did not have enough support to make it to the House floor.

Have any questions about how Washington works or want a specific federal government affairs topic covered? Please reach out to Brigid Ueland with any questions or ideas!

This Week in Washington
Feb 29, 2024

It has been a busy week as legislators make the most of this year’s extra day. Surprise announcements, important roundtable discussions, funding deals, and legislative markups have ensured that Leap Week 2024 has not been boring.

The End Read the rest

Who Will Supervise the Supervisor?
Feb 27, 2024

Recently, the CFPB ordered federal supervision for an installment lender and another installment lender agreed to supervision. Federal supervision is unnecessary as traditional installment lenders are supervised in each state in which… Read the rest

Road to 2024: The Election Outlook | 2024 Independents Conference & Expo
Feb 27, 2024

Join the bipartisan polling team for NBC News’ national political survey for a fast-paced, engaging, and entertaining session on the latest insights and trends leading into this fall’s national and state elections.

SponsoredRead the rest

AFSA Education Foundation in Action
Feb 23, 2024

Last Thursday, the AFSA Education Foundation (AFSAEF) collaborated with the National Math Foundation (NMF) to host a webinar, Math Matters in Life: Personal Finance and Future Success.

Nearly 200 math and personal finance educators and… Read the rest

AFSA Promotes Financial Inclusion
Feb 23, 2024

This week, AFSA provided information to the Department of the Treasury on how our members are promoting financial inclusion for the American consumer. The Presidential Commission for Financial Inclusion at U.S. Treasury Department is… Read the rest

Champions Club Speaker Announced!
Feb 21, 2024

AFSA is pleased to confirm that two-time NBA champion, college All-American, and award-winning broadcaster Kenny Smith will serve as the 2024 Champions Club keynote speaker at the 2024 Independents Conference and Expo.

Known throughout

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February White Paper: Vehicle Data Privacy
Feb 15, 2024

AFSA’s February State Government Affairs white paper is now available. This month’s white paper delves into vehicle data privacy.

As the prevalence of vehicle automation and data processing rises in the automotive… Read the rest

Fun Congressional Recess Facts
Feb 15, 2024

As of yesterday, both the House and the Senate are in “recess” for the upcoming week of President’s Day. A quick glance at the congressional calendar for the year shows that about twenty recess weeks, or state work periods, are scheduled for… Read the rest

NY’s Concerning Junk Fee Bill
Feb 15, 2024

Last week, the State Government Affairs team at AFSA sent a comment letter to the New York Senate regarding the proposed regulations for the New York Junk Fee Prevention Act. In the letter AFSA highlights concerns with the proposal and its … Read the rest

Fed: Credit Balances on the Rise
Feb 15, 2024

Consumer credit balances reached a record $17.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which draws on data from the bank’s Consumer… Read the rest

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