October 22, 2013
Tuesday Edition
Senator says he'd like tax reform discussion this year

On a recent visit to the "Capital Report with Al Hunt" on Bloomberg Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), said that he is working with Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) on tax reform legislation. He explained they will work with the Senate Budget Committee that was formed with the recent passing of raising the debt ceiling and re-opening the government.

Sen. Baucus communicated that he sees the committee coming up with the top line numbers and then he and Camp will provide the details. When pressed by Hunt for a date, all Sen. Baucus would say is that he is working on language that will simplify the code and be the best legislation it can be. He said his office has been working on tax reform for years.

Hunt also asked whether the legislation is revenue neutral or a money maker. Sen. Baucus did not commit, but expressed the corporate tax rate needs to be reformed. He cited a recent software merger between a U.S. and Japanese company that moved its headquarters to the Netherlands because of the tax rate.

A date to remember in this discussion is Dec. 13. That is when the budget committee is supposed to come up with a long-term plan for taxes and spending. You can see the full Bloomberg interview by clicking here.

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Washington wire

Below is an update on where tax reform and housing finance reform stand post government shutdown.

Tax reform:
The League continues to closely follow the progress that the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee make on tax reform. In the days since the shutdown ended, the debt ceiling was increased, and the budget conference committee convened, both Chairman Camp of the Ways and Means Committee and Chairman Baucus of the Finance Committee have stated the importance of completing tax reform. (See story above.)

Housing finance reform:

The government shutdown brought a number of issues to a screeching halt, but housing finance reform was one issue that continued to develop despite the dysfunction in Congress. The Senate Banking Committee continued private meetings and public hearings on the issue throughout the shutdown. CUNA had a number of meetings with Committee staff over the last several weeks to discuss questions they have about how credit unions interact with the secondary mortgage market and concerns regarding various reform proposals. The committee will continue to hold weekly hearings on this subject for the foreseeable future with the hope of introducing a new bill in November or December.

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Providers investigating Adobe breach

The major data breach at Adobe a few weeks ago is still under investigation. However, a few of the card providers are releasing details as they gather information.

FIS says that MasterCard found the breach between Sept. 7-15. The Fiserv Risk Office investigation indicates that hackers gained access to Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords, as well as potentially removing certain information, including customer names, encrypted debit and credit card numbers, expiration dates, and information related to customer orders.

At this time, Adobe does not know if any unencrypted card information was accessed or stolen. Neither FIS nor Fiserv have found any additional ecommerce fraud with their cardholders. VISA and MasterCard continue to monitor their card accounts, as well as investigate how hackers were able to access card information with Adobe.

Click here to read the FIS report and here to read the Fiserv report.

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InfoSight spotlight: VISA and MasterCard rules

Generally, the VISA and MasterCard rules are more favorable to cardholders than Regulation E rules that govern electronic funds transfers. A credit union with such cards must follow the more favorable rules when dealing with cardholding members. In fact, rules for VISA and for MasterCard have required card-issuing credit unions to make some operating adjustments in order to comply.

Visit the VISA and MasterCard Rules topic on the ACH/Electronic Payments channel of InfoSight to learn how these rules affect your credit union and what your credit union should do to comply with these rules. Also, the Additional Resources section of this page includes a link to the Frequently Asked Questions page which provides answers to questions such as these:

  • What should be done if the credit union’s card processor says that it will not be able to institute mass or auto enrollment for all of its cardholders?

  • How will these online security programs be helpful to credit union members who don't shop online?

  • Does the merchant have to participate in the Verified by VISA program in order for a transaction to be
    considered an attempted authentication?

Review the information today to help your credit union remain in compliance.

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In This Issue
Tuesday Edition
Senator says he'd like tax reform discussion this year
Washington wire
Providers investigating Adobe breach
InfoSight spotlight: VISA and MasterCard rules
LSCU & Affiliates Media

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