CONGRESS RESPONDS TO CUs' EFFORTS
updated 03/12/13 07:30 AM
Visits During GAC Make Impact
As a result of credit union advocates from California, Nevada, and around the nation "hiking the hill" in Washington, D.C. during the Credit Union National Association's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference in late February, some positive developments are unfolding in Congress.
Nearly 4,200 credit union advocates—about 180 of them from California and Nevada—attended GAC this year, accomplishing many successful visits with congressional legislators. Several credit union issues were discussed, with the following two pieces of legislation now in focus:
H.R. 688—the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act (member business lending)
California added eight new co-sponsors because of visits to lawmakers' offices during GAC, bringing the total to 62 co-sponsors (including Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA and author of the bill). Momentum seems to be growing in the House of Representatives as this legislation, which is only a month old, has garnered broad bipartisan support.
Out of the co-sponsors, 21 are from California and one from Nevada. The fact that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and co-sponsor is significant to the member business lending cause. Additionally, California has five freshman co-sponsors, and the list is growing.
Working together, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and its member credit unions have removed barriers to adding new co-sponsors to this legislation, essentially helping bring members of Congress on board who hadn't co-sponsored previous versions of the legislation. It's how the Leagues and members hope to win this vote, building a winning coalition, one member of Congress at a time.
H.R. 749—the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act
GAC attendees also advocated for this legislation during visits with lawmakers. This bill is expected to be on the House floor sometime this week.
"This is a direct result of credit union members in action," said Jeremy Empol, vice president of federal government affairs for the Leagues. "A majority of our congressional delegation was able to raise the importance of this issue with their party leaders—most of which do not object to this legislation. The fate of this bill will be interesting as it moves to the Senate, assuming passage from the House."
He added: "While Congress is a slow-moving creature, starting a new session with early victories and winning coalitions will help credit unions be successful in the long term."
Co-sponsors of H.R. 688—the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act (last name, first name, state and district, and date of sponsorship):