ABA Travels to Nation’s Capital for Annual DC Fly In

Bankers from across Alabama were in Washington, D.C. this week meeting with members of Congress about relevant issues impacting the banking industry. Keeping public officials abreast of legislation’s impact on our customers and institutions, including the importance of their positions on such issues, is chief among our priorities. In keeping with tradition, bankers from each respective congressional district presented our talking points with their officials, further cementing those relationships.

Here’s a recap of our trip:

  • Monday afternoon, we met together with officials from the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America for briefings on various active bills, including ACRE (Access to Credit for our Rural Economy), the 2023 Farm Bill priorities, the SAFE Act of 2023 (cannabis banking), and the Credit Card Competition Act (or “Durbin 2.0” on interchange.) We reviewed the status of the CFPB Small Business Lending Data Collection Rule (Section 1071); credit union efforts to raise their business lending cap and overall credit union inequities; FDIC deposit insurance reform; changes in the SBA 7(a) lending environment; efforts on FHLB reform and other issues.
  • Monday evening, we hosted dinner for all attendees with Congressman Robert Aderholt R—AL04) and Congressman Gary Palmer (R—AL06) along with senior members of their staff, Megan Medley, legislative director for Aderholt and William Smith, chief of staff for Palmer. In addition, Emory Cox, financial policy advisor to Sen. Tommy Tuberville, Rusk Henry, legislative aide to Tuberville, and Evan Raines, a new staffer to Sen. Katie Britt and the daughter of banker Joe Raines from United Bank, joined us for dinner and discussions.
  • On Tuesday morning, we met with Sen. Katie Britt, followed by a separate meeting with Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville invited FDIC Board Member Jonathan McKernan to be on hand with perspective on the bank failures earlier this year, along with the FDIC’s response and future action. Later that day, we met with Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL05), who spoke about the ongoing efforts to secure Space Command in Huntsville. We also met with Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL-02), and Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03). Due to voting conflicts, Rep. Jerry Carl (AL-01) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL07) were represented by key staff members.
  • On Tuesday evening, we hosted dinner, which included Dan Hillenbrand, legislative director for Sen. Katie Britt, and his colleague, Caroline Moore, legislative assistant for Britt.
  • On Wednesday morning, before departing home, we met with FDIC Vice Chairman Travis Hill and Brandon Milhorn, deputy to the vice chairman, as well as two senior officials from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau: Larry Lee, senior counsel, and Leslie Parrish, deputy assistant director for Consumer Credit, Payments and Deposit Markets. Deposit insurance reform and the burdensomeness of Section 1071 reporting were the primary topics discussed in these briefings.

If you have not made this trip before, consider joining us in 2024 for this unique, firsthand opportunity to advocate for legislative and regulatory outcomes that benefit our customers. We anticipate returning in September of 2024 and hope to announce specifics soon.