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Rep. Kenny Marchant Visits Fort Worth Chapter
Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:00 AM

Kenny Marchant

At the July 26 meeting for the Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions, Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) stopped by to speak to credit union leaders in his home district. He has represented the 24th Congressional District since 2005 and currently serves on the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, which is probably the most powerful committee in Congress since it has jurisdiction over tax policy.

Marchant said that every time the Ways and Means Committee looks at tax reform, repeal of the tax exemption comes up as a possibility; however, the amount of federal revenue that would be gained by eliminating the exemption is very low, and consumers benefit much more by having the exemption in place. Still, Marchant reiterated the importance of credit unions continuing to advocate for the tax exemption. 

Several very important bills are in Congress right now. Marchant says he hears a lot from the retail sector, and that Rep. Randy Neugebauer’s data breach bill (HR 2205) is a good one that could pass this year. Also being considered are Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s bill to replace Dodd-Frank (the Financial CHOICE Act) and Rep. Roger Williams’ bill (HR 3048) to exempt credit unions and community banks under $10 billion in assets from future rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The most powerful thing credit unions can do is put a personal face on the industry, Marchant says. Credit unions must continue to engage and go to D.C. and meet locally with elected officials.

Prior to his service in Congress, Marchant spent 18 years in the Texas House and passed more credit union bills than anyone in the history of the Texas Legislature. At the same time, he helped prevented the passage of many bad bills for credit unions.

The “People helping people” philosophy was drilled into him early at the Texas Legislature, he noted, and has stuck with him his entire political career. He told the Fort Worth chapter members that he never forgot those first meetings with credit unions; they left a very favorable impression on him, and he got to know credit unions better through subsequent meetings at governmental affairs conferences and Hike the Hills.

"Having Congressman Marchant at the July Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions meeting was a great opportunity for over 100 credit union professionals to connect with one of the industry's biggest and longest-standing supporters," said Chapter President Andy Reed, who is also CEO of Texas People Federal Credit Union. "The congressman clearly understands the importance of protecting the credit union tax exemption, the need for regulatory relief, and the impact merchant data standards would have in the marketplace and on our members. The 40-plus credit unions represented by the Fort Worth Chapter appreciate the congressman making time to visit with us while on recess in his district."

"Credit unions are fortunate to have a champion like Congressman Kenny Marchant," said Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman. "He continues to provide great leadership on the issues impacting credit unions, as a cosponsor on major CU bills and as a staunch opponent to imposing more taxes on credit unions."