WBA Government Relations Committee (GRC) Chair Tom Mews of FNC Bank, AG Section representative Dave Coggins of Investors Community Bank, and WBA’s Rose Oswald Poels met Thursday afternoon with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), just one day after the inauguration of President Biden, to discuss banking priorities for the 117th Congress.
Coggins and Mews discussed the impacts of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the current economic climate on the agriculture and hospitality customers, soliciting continued targeted assistance in these areas. Sen. Baldwin detailed her support for the ag community through her work with Sen. Thune (R-SD) on legislation that would revise the way producers calculate their PPP loan award. A measure ultimately adopted in the most recent stimulus passed late last year.
Poels pivoted to request Sen. Baldwin's support of tax legislation to help farmers (ECORA) and to help the banking industry work with CFPB on the disparate impact of rules, particularly on those entities lending to consumers and businesses without the same level of regulatory scrutiny as the banking industry.
Sen. Baldwin requested talking points when she meets with the new CFPB head and data on lending in rural areas. She also noted the impact ECORA would have on a practical level.
When asked about what she sees next for this Congress, Baldwin remarked that the Senate will need to first pass its organization resolution, followed by confirmations.
“I then hope and expect we’ll see a COVID-19 rescue package to address vaccine funding shortfalls," said Baldwin. "After that, Congress could focus on a larger economic package.”