|Diana Dykstra, President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues|
LEAGUES PRESIDENT RECAPS GAC
updated 02/28/14 01:41 PM
'Attendees Were Encouraged,' She Says
The highly-anticipated annual Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. has come to an end. From Feb. 23-26, attendees had the chance to hear from influential legislators and credit union experts on the political landscape, attend breakout sessions on the hottest issues, and network with peers.
California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra shared her thoughts on GAC in a post-event message on Thursday:
It’s always inspiring to be around enthusiastic California and Nevada credit union leaders, as well as those from other parts of the country. Thank you to those who participated here with us in Washington D.C. at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference, and to those of you at home who sent your staff and volunteers’ lending support.
Many attendees were encouraged by the positive feedback they got from lawmakers at every visit. The individual stories from credit unions really stood out and especially grabbed the attention of some lawmakers who are brand new to Congress. Again, it’s all about building political capital. It’s a slow and steady process that isn’t won overnight.
This week, more than 4,400 advocates converged in Washington, 200 of which were exclusively from California and Nevada. And, if you’ve been keeping abreast with what’s been going on, you know the hot topics were data breach, member business lending (MBL), tax reform, and enhancing the credit union charter.
During the general session, House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa, R-CA, called on congressional leaders to strengthen cybersecurity rules without mandating additional regulatory burdens on credit unions. Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA, also announced that he will be introducing new MBL legislation—the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act—that would exempt loans for non-owner occupied one- to four-unit dwellings from the current MBL cap on credit unions. A very dynamic speech about the role credit unions play in America's prosperity was also delivered by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Many discussions took place about the possibility of tax reform. I am pleased to report that the specific credit union tax status is left untouched in a tax reform plan released by the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.
Several leaders such as Congressmen Raul Ruiz, Brad Sherman, Eric Swalwell, and Doug LaMalfa, and candidate Pete Aguilar addressed our delegation at the Credit Union House, further showing their commitment to the credit union movement. We felt encouraged by their support, as they understood our unique perspective in the financial services marketplace. There was also a brand new session with National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz and Board Member Rick Metsger, which was invaluable to our credit unions.
Key topics that we brought to the attention of legislators in every meeting, included extending the credit union lending cap (H.R. 688, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act), supplemental capital (H.R. 719, the Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act), and requesting the Government Accountability Office to study Regulation D (H.R. 3240, the Regulation D Study Act).
The meetings were exhaustive and exhilarating at the same time, and overall, we feel encouraged by our discussions with lawmakers. Participating in events like GAC and the upcoming Government Relations Rally (GRR) on April 7-8 is critical to championing the cause of credit unions and the vision to Unite for Good. Please be sure to visit our GAC photo gallery for event highlights. Thank you for your ongoing support. The sustainability of our efforts relies heavily on your involvement.
Diana R. Dykstra President and CEO California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues