Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Ellison, Paulsen, Duffy Applaud Passage of Money Remittances Improvement Act

May 6, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), and Sean Duffy (R-WI) applauded the passage of the Money Remittances Improvement Act (H.R. 4386), which would make it easier for well-regulated nonbank institutions such as money service businesses to provide remittances to their customers across the globe. The bill was passed on a voice vote through the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate.

“Passage of the Money Remittances Improvement Act is cause for celebration for all diaspora communities, including the Somali and Hmong communities I am proud to represent in Minnesota,” Rep. Ellison said. “Remittances are a lifeline for the loved ones of many Minnesotans. I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to encourage them to take up the Money Remittances Improvement Act as soon as possible.”  

“Streamlining the remittance process and eliminating regulatory barriers to sending money home is critical for many American immigrants supporting their extended families overseas,” said Rep. Paulsen. “This legislation makes it easier for these individuals to take care of their relatives, while providing the necessary safeguards to ensure their money reaches its intended destination.”

“I want to thank Representative Ellison for his efforts on this important issue. I come from a family of 13, my wife Rachel a family of six, both spread across the United States,” said Rep. Duffy. “It is a comfort to know we can rely on each other in good and hard financial times.”

Duffy went on to say, “Sadly the duplicative requirements under current law make it difficult for the hardworking Hmong of Wisconsin to send money to their loved ones back home when they need it most. By requiring the federal government to better communicate with state financial regulators as our bill does, families spread across the world will enjoy that peace of mind as well.”

The Money Remittances Improvement Act would improve oversight of nonbank financial institutions like money service businesses while reducing duplication for regulators and businesses.  By allowing federal regulators to utilize state exams, regulators are able to more efficiently ensure compliance with laws and regulations while also reducing costs for the regulated firms themselves.

According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, “The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's ability to formally rely on examinations conducted by state supervisory agencies will greatly improve Bank Secrecy Act compliance and oversight for nonbank financial institutions lacking a federal regulator.”  The Treasury Secretary must first certify that the state’s regulatory framework is consistent with what is required at the federal level.  President Obama requested this authority in three of his budget requests

The bill is supported by The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Money Transmitter Regulators Association, Oxfam America African Development Solutions (ADESO), the Somali American Remittances association, Tawakal Money Express, Kaah Express, Dahab-shiil, Amal USA Inc, and the Somali Action Alliance, and The Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota support the bill.