What’s on the Horizon at the Federal Level in 2013?

The 112th Congress officially adjourned at noon today, with action on the fiscal cliff representing Congress’ final action of the year. With its adjournment, all pending legislation officially “died,” including the credit union member business lending (MBL) bill that Northwest credit unions worked on tirelessly this year and came up just short in the process required to become law.

“This is tough one to take,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner. “We moved this bill through so many of the hurdles required to pass the U.S. Senate, and credit union advocates put forth an extraordinary effort doing our part in this battle. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the bill came up short of the 60 votes needed to move through the final process and our last-minute hopes of a banking package didn’t come to fruition.”

As the 113th Congress kicks off, the NWCUA will work with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other leagues to decide on next steps for the MBL issue and fully develop the year’s federal agenda.

“One issue that will remain at the top of our legislative agenda is supplemental capital,” Wagner said. “The bill to allow credit unions to access supplemental capital and count it towards net worth was first introduced in early 2012. Northwest credit unions laid important educational groundwork on this issue with our federal delegation, and we plan to continue securing support for the bill when it is reintroduced in the coming months.”

According to Wagner, sure to be joining supplemental capital and MBLs on the list of priorities are:

  • Protecting the Credit Union Tax Exemption
  • Reducing Regulatory Burden
  • Participating in Housing Finance Reform
  • Charter Enhancements

Credit union advocates will get their first chance to lobby their federal delegation at next month’s CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. Recognized as the key conference to attend for political impact, credit union networking and industry updates, the GAC also offers a wide array of informative breakout sessions on hot topics, the industry’s largest exhibitor showcase, guest/family programs to tour Washington’s sights, and special entertainment, including an opening concert and the closing Gala Reception and Dance.

A preliminary schedule of events is now available online. For more information and to register, visit gac.cuna.org or follow @CUNAverse and #CUNAGAC.


Interested in Learning More About Business Lending?

The Business Lending School (TBLS) is a comprehensive, hands-on training program that dramatically increases credit union professionals’ business lending skills. Designed to help participants become superior lending officers, relationship managers and business advisors, TBLS enables participants to more effectively communicate with clients and prospects, and successfully sell appropriate business related products and services through a program that includes:

  • Twenty-eight days of in-class training featuring an extensive training curriculum divided into five one-week sessions and three final days of review and testing;
  • An innovative mentor program that partners each student with a senior team member from his or her credit union for the duration of the Lending School;
  • Support from top-tier instructors for individual assistance or additional insights;
  • Daily quizzes, weekly exams and regular homework that reinforce the information covered in classroom; and
  • Additional assignments and case studies to be completed between class sessions.

The school session begins next week and is limited to 35 participants to increase participation and ensure that every student has ample opportunity to learn—and practice—the principles being taught. Classes are conducted in an informal, interactive environment.

More information, including the opportunity to register, is available online.


Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News, Federal, NCUA.