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The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 2543 along party lines with a 215-207 vote.  Among several other provisions, the bill included language from H.R. 7003 which allows all credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership. Currently, only multiple common bond credit unions can add these areas to their field of membership. Single sponsor and community-chartered credit unions do not have the ability today. Underserved areas are determined two ways. The first is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) area and the second is an area that the NCUA and FDIC determine is underserved by other depositories. The credit union provision would expand the definition of underserved to include New Markets Tax Credit areas and any area that does not have a financial institution branch within 10 miles. The bill also would exempt member business loans made in underserved areas from the current cap of 12.25% of a credit union’s total assets.

H.R. 7003 was passed out of the House Financial Services Committee and subsequently added to the package of H.R. 2543. A bill must be passed in both the House and the Senate before it can go to the President’s desk for their signature. There is not a companion bill in the Senate at this time.