Congress: Action on the 'Americans With Disabilities Act'

Stacks of paper on a desk

Credit unions in California and Nevada have been working with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA, Livermore), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, to seek a remedy to the plague of lawsuits and demand letters stemming from a pending regulation on the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

At the core of this issue is the failure of the Department of Justice to complete a regulation that would provide uniform guidance determining what is exactly required for online banking software for the ADA. Credit unions, as well as other businesses that have a web site with wide-reaching audiences, have been targeted for failure to be in compliance although it is not uniformly clear what compliance means.

To address this issue (at the request of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues) Swalwell, joined by his colleague Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL, began circulating a letter across the House of Representatives calling on the attorney general to finalize and issue this regulation. The letter will circulate for the next few weeks, which will give members of Congress time to co-sign and will demonstrate to the attorney general that Congress wants to see action on this issue. The letter is not particularly prescriptive of what the resolution to the regulation should be; rather, it calls upon the Department of Justice to complete this regulation after the five years that is has been pending.

Finalizing the regulation is complicated, however, as one of President Donald Trump’s earliest executive orders called on all cabinet-level departments to cut two regulations for every one new one that was made in order. This regulation was already categorized by the attorney general as “inactive” to comply with the president’s order.

“This is why the Leagues made this a priority at our 'Hike the Hill' gathering in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago,” said Jeremy Empol, vice president of federal government affairs for the Leagues. “We are also working with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and all other state leagues to ensure as many members of Congress sign on to this letter. We must show a sense of urgency to address this problem. The Leagues appreciates the effort of Congressmen Swalwell and DeSantis for their leadership. We also encourage all of our members to reach out to their congressional offices in support of this letter.”

The letter will be posted on the Leagues' Advocacy blog when finalized in the weeks ahead.

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