By Bill Cheney, President & CEO, Credit Union National Association, Inc.
Despite the specter of another “snowstorm” in Washington last week (which, like a deal on the sequester, never fully materialized), we’ve been seizing every available opportunity to discuss credit union legislative priorities with key legislators. The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) legislative team and I are following up the terrific Hill visits at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) by arranging a fresh series of meetings with newly elected members and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.
In today’s Congress, it is imperative that we maintain current, up-to-date relationships with all the major players—especially as issues such as tax reform gain steam. In fact, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) chose our GAC stage to announce tax reform legislation will be introduced as H.R. 1 to symbolize its priority level. But we do not expect that bill to target credit unions—a result of the strides we’ve made through these steady meetings and contacts.
Along the same lines, CUNA was a sponsor last week with The Hill newspaper of a special reception for the new chairmen and ranking members of the congressional committees. More than 50 members of Congress attended the event, which gave us the opportunity to converse both with longstanding House and Senate members and those who are newly elected. We also set the stage by running a full-page ad in The Hill emphasizing how hard-working Americans have trusted credit unions for more than 100 years. Our message to Congress was simple: Don’t do anything to violate that trust.