During his public service career in Congress since 2007, former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been a personal champion for the credit union movement in California and across the nation, dating back to before his time in office in the Bakersfield, CA region.
This week, Congressman McCarthy (R-CA) announced he will retire from the House by the end of the month. He served as House speaker from January to October of 2023, serving in prior years as Republican majority whip and leader.
“Speaker McCarthy has been a longtime friend of credit unions, dating back to his time in the state legislature,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “We thank him for his leadership to our country, and for championing issues important to credit unions.”
Through his advocacy, McCarthy played a pivotal role in advancing legislation to strengthen the economy and support credit unions. Under his tenure, the Credit Union Board Modernization Act passed the House twice — once in 2022 and again in 2023. McCarthy also made significant strides in passing legislation to bolster the U.S. economy.
In 2021, McCarthy hosted Eric Bruen, CEO of Desert Valleys FCU, at a town hall event focused on expansion of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements.
“Congressman McCarthy — or ‘Kevin,’ as I know him — has been a tireless advocate for credit unions and for his constituents,” Bruen said.
Bruen noted that during McCarthy’s more than 16-plus years in Congress, he continually advocated for “the little guy,” which the credit union model was built on. The congressman has opposed greater regulation on credit unions and sought solutions to ensure credit unions can serve their members.
“The loss of his leadership will have widespread impacts,” Bruen said. “However, thanks to the incredible efforts of the Leagues’ advocacy team, I am confident the next representative for the 20th Congressional District will continue to be committed to the credit union mission of ‘people helping people’.”
McCarthy’s dedication to credit unions was not just about policy; it was about people. He understands that credit unions are more than financial institutions — that they are community focused cooperatives dedicated to building financial wellbeing for all.
When McCarthy served as House majority whip years ago, he said he would have never made it to his leadership positions “if I didn’t belong to a credit union.” He called credit unions the best of America’s “exceptional nature” at a previous Governmental Affairs Conference hosted annually by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), as well as “a symbol of free enterprise, risk, and upward mobility.”
At the same conference, McCarthy shared his long history with credit unions throughout his legislative career and life, which includes receiving a credit union loan after high school to attend junior college, the refinancing of debt, investing savings to purchase investments, and later selling those investments to pay for the remainder of college.
“Representative McCarthy is one of those legislators who has understood the power of the credit union difference even before he was an elected official and supported policies to help credit unions throughout his distinguished career,” said CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle. “His work with credit unions was instrumental in keeping expanded Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements out of legislation and has consistently pushed to reduce credit unions’ regulatory burden. Credit unions will miss him as a champion in Congress, and we wish him and his family the best going forward.”
As McCarthy retires from Congress and embarks on the next chapter of his life, the Leagues would like to extend its deepest gratitude for the congressman’s unwavering commitment to credit unions!