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CUs Take Advantage of Congressional Recess with In-District Visits
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 7:00 AM

Kenny Marchant at Fort Worth Chapter Meeting

With two weeks left before federal lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., credit unions and state leagues have been taking advantage of home-district visits to share their concerns about a wide range of policy issues as well as the credit union difference.

Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer, said these visits benefit credit unions and lawmakers alike. They expose “legislators to credit unions and gives them an insight on how they operate and who they serve, and it gives them the opportunity to interact with their constituents.”

Cornerstone credit unions have been taking advantage of the break. The Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions hosted Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) (Leaguer July 28). Marchant, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, reiterated the importance of credit unions continuing to advocate for their tax status. He advised attendees to put a personal face on the industry by engaging with lawmakers—in Washington, D.C., and locally.

“[Lawmakers] usually have more time to visit with constituents in the district than when they're in Washington, D.C.,” said Jim Phelps, Cornerstone's senior vice president of advocacy. “Sustained engagement throughout the year, especially back home, is one of the key factors in strengthening our political capital.”

Among this summer’s visits around the nation:

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) invited delegates from Buckeye State CU, Akron; CSE FCU, Canton; Seven Seventeen CU, Warren; and the Ohio Credit Union League to a meeting of financial services leaders from northeast Ohio. The league reported that Brown took to heart credit union concerns about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent rule on small-dollar, short-term lending (eLumination Aug. 18).
  • Credit union meetings with Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) were facilitated by the Heartland Credit Union Association.
  • Massachusetts credit unions and the Cooperative Credit Union Association met with Rep. Stephen Lynch (D), who urged the league and credit unions to continue to communicate with his office.

Congress members also visited with individual credit unions.

  • During his visit to CHROME FCU’s Washington, Pa., location, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) delivered a big check representing a $7,000 cybersecurity grant from NCUA (Life is a Highway Aug. 15).
  • Ardent CU, Philadelphia, hosted Dwight Evans, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District, as well as leaders from PSECU, Harrisburg; Ukrainian Selfreliance FCU, Philadelphia; and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. Evans is a state representative for the 203rd District.

Cornerstone credit unions still have time to check in with their lawmakers to arrange a visit. Need help or advice on setting up a meeting? Check out the Advocacy page of the Cornerstone website or contact April Krause at akrause@cornerstoneleague.coop.