|L-R: Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA; Rep. Tom McClintock, R-CA; Diana Dykstra, President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; and Rep. Ami Bera, D-CA|
Members of congress—as well as legislative aides—were impressed during visits at everything credit unions in California and Nevada are accomplishing within their individual communities, whether working with members on their mortgages or taking the initiative to be good community stewards.
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The Issues at Stake
During legislator visits on Capitol Hill, credit union groups also stressed the importance of supplemental capital for the industry and voiced support for The Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act, which Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA, recently reintroduced in the House of Representatives. The bill would permit the National Credit Union Administration to allow credit unions to accept additional forms of capital, and is identical to legislation introduced last session.
Sherman also recently reintroduced The Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, which would make significant improvements in privacy notices for consumers.
The political debate over housing finance reform is still taking shape. Credit union advocates are working to ensure the movement gets its rightful place at the discussion table, as the federal government decides how to handle government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as other mortgage and consumer financial issues.
California and Nevada
California legislators speaking during GAC's general session on Tuesday and Wednesday included Reps. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA; Ed Royce, R-CA; Brad Sherman, D-CA; and Maxine Waters, D-CA (ranking democrat on the House Financial Services Committee). Before and after speaking, they shook hands with credit union CEOs and board members from across California, giving those attendees a positive touch-point.
Additionally, the California Credit Union League held a successful fundraiser earlier that morning for another House co-sponsor and credit union supporter, Rep. John Campbell, R-CA, who was very gracious.
Credit Union House
Credit Union House buzzed with chatter as the following members of Congress stopped by on Wednesday night to address advocates: Reps. Grace Napolitano, D-CA; Janice Hahn, D-CA; Ami Bera, D-CA; Brad Sherman, D-CA; Tom McClintock, R-CA; and Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA. These legislators reiterated their support for credit unions as the so-called "sequester" budget cuts loomed during that week over Capitol Hill and the White House.
CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney also stopped by to address supporters, saying that CUNA, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, and other state leagues are marching forward in 2013 with a strong credit union message that lawmakers are taking note of, especially since many credit union members are constituents in their respective districts.
Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra spoke as well. "Overall, the tone from lawmakers we visited was more positive than in the past two years," Dykstra said in a special message sent to members later that week. "Once again, I saw that with a focused message and a strong turnout, credit unions can cut through the political clamor and leave a strong impression. Participating in events like GAC and the Government Relations Rally (GRR) turns lukewarm credit union supporters into good ones, and good supporters into great ones. Thank you for your support, and let's continue reaching out whenever we can."