Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was elected as the 55th speaker of the House of Representatives last Saturday morning — a legislator who has served in Congress since 2007 and has long been a strong supporter of credit unions, even before his time on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
“We congratulate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and look forward to once again working with him,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “For many years, the California Credit Union League has worked successfully with Speaker McCarthy and his office to build consensus in Congress on credit union issues.”
McCarthy has been a long-standing ally of credit unions, even dating back to his role as republican leader in the California State Legislature, which is shown by his strong ties to his local credit unions. He has often said he is proud that his first checking and savings accounts were opened at a local credit union in Bakersfield.
“Additionally, Speaker McCarthy has worked hand in hand in committee leadership roles with credit union supporters on a variety of essential issues to help credit unions survive and thrive, including preservation of the credit union tax status, member business lending, non-owner occupied mortgages, and conflicts with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — just to name a few,” Dykstra said. “As credit unions continue working with Speaker McCarthy, our movement will not forget the positive steps he has taken within our California delegation to bring important consensus to our issues.”
McCarthy hosted Desert Valleys FCU CEO Eric Bruen at his October 2021 town hall meeting on the proposed expansion of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements. Desert Valleys, headquartered in Ridgecrest, CA, is within McCarthy’s local district.
The Leagues, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and credit unions were instrumental in securing opposition to the proposal from a majority of House members, including more than 200 members of the House Republican Conference.
“Congressman Kevin McCarthy has been a staunch ally to credit unions — and although this process was more tedious than hoped, in the end credit unions have secured a friend in the House speaker’s seat,” Bruen said.
McCarthy called credit unions the best of America’s “exceptional nature” during CUNA’s 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), as well as “a symbol of free enterprise, risk, and upward mobility.”
The House speaker has noted his background is intertwined with credit unions. He received a credit union loan after high school to attend junior college, refinanced his debt through the credit union, invested those savings to purchase investments, and later sold those investments to pay for the remainder of college. McCarthy has said he would’ve never made it to that position “if I didn’t belong to a credit union.”
CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle congratulated McCarthy on his election and said he looks forward to working closely with him and other congressional leaders to advance credit union priorities in Congress.
“Our entire movement would like to congratulate Speaker McCarthy,” Nussle said. “He is a longtime supporter of reducing the regulatory burden on credit unions, which helps us dedicate more time and resources to serving members and communities.”