The twice-yearly trip shows advocacy in action, allowing credit unions face time with legislators and regulators.
Northwest credit unions bring comprehensive legislative agenda, momentum into 2015.
Beginning with the preservation of the credit union tax exemption and charging through mid-term elections, credit unions fought and won important battles in 2014.
More Than 200 Northwest Advocates Will Spread the Credit Union Message at 2014 GAC in Washington, D.C.
Tony Blair and Madeleine Albright will be the keynote speakers. Rocker Eddie Money will headline an opening concert. And two of the four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards will go to Northwest executives at a gala event emceed by the NWCUA’s Denise Gabel. But for more than 200 Northwest credit union advocates, the most important part of CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., next month will be the chance to meet with every member of the Northwest Congressional delegation.
National and regional advocacy leaders are urging credit unions to make plans now for the next “Don’t Tax My Credit Union!” campaign as Congress prepares to focus its attention—perhaps as soon as this week—on tax reform.
Northwest credit union executives are in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with U.S. representatives and senators as part of Northwest Credit Union Association’s “Hike the Hill” program.
Northwest credit union advocates have sent 28,000 messages to Congress in support of the credit union tax exemption.
How serious is it that the Senate has spotlighted credit unions in a “tax options” report? It is not a recommendation, but the mention elevates the need for credit unions to turn on their grassroots machines.
With a call for sustained messaging to Congress about protecting credit unions’ tax structure, no one will be busier this summer than credit union advocates. Jennifer Wagner is the go-to resource for federal advocacy at the NWCUA. Anthem followed her and team of Northwest delegates in Washington just last week.
The cost of credit unions’ regulatory burden will be examined in an unprecedented Congressional hearing April 10. Hailed as a “win” for credit unions, the hearing is a first step toward legislative relief.
“Congress will put everything on the table as part of a larger tax reform discussion,” said NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner. “We anticipate that protecting our federal tax exemption will be front and center on our legislative agenda next year.”
With the 112th Congress officially adjourning at noon today, the NWCUA is working with CUNA and other leagues to establish a federal agenda for credit unions for 2013. The tax exemption, regulatory burden, housing finance reform and charter enhancements are all expected to be priorities.
President Obama signed two bills with implications for credit unions into law Thursday. An NWCUA-supported bill improving ATM fee disclosures will provide regulatory relief and protection from predatory lawsuits, while the other ensures privacy protection when working with the CFPB.
The Senate bill to extend the TAG program for banks was defeated this morning, earning only 50 of the needed 60 votes. The vote comes two days after the Senate voted unanimously in favor of a bill that provides regulatory relief around ATM disclosure requirements.
The Senate will vote early next week on S. 3637, a bill that has been seen as a possible companion for MBL legislation that would extend TAG coverage for banks. “The status of our MBL bill on Capitol Hill remains very fluid,” NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang said. “The situation is evolving hourly.”
“Sen. Harry Reid introduced a TAG bill Monday night and is looking to expedite it to the Senate floor for a vote,” said Jennifer Wagner. “It looks like he is putting into motion a scenario where our MBL bill and the TAG Bill may be merged together to help ensure passage of our priority legislation.”
Twenty-six northwest credit unions are at or managing to the member business lending cap as credit union advocates prepare for another visit to Congress next week. With more than 140,000 new jobs possible in the first year, passing the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act could be just the ticket a divided Congress could agree on.
Sen. Harry Reid reiterated his commitment to giving the credit union MBL bill a vote on the Senate floor during the lame-duck session. Credit unions now have an opportunity for advocacy with Congress in recess and the legislators campaigning in their home districts.