The Advocate - ICU Day Special Addition
Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:00 PM

International Credit Union Day

How Restarting the Gov't Affects Tax Reform

Congress and the administration appear to have agreed on a plan to temporarily end the government shutdown and extend the debt ceiling. The agreement contains five components: 

  • Funds the U.S. Government through Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Raises the debt limit to a level estimated to be reached on Feb. 7, 2014.  
  • Requires additional income verification measures under the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act to ensure that those receiving financial assistance to purchase health insurance are qualified.
  • Requires Congressional leaders to name conferees to a budget conference committee.  The committee is expected to issue recommendations to Congress by Dec. 13, 2013.  
  • Requires a proactive vote to disapprove extending the debt limit, as opposed to having regular votes to raise it.  
  • Provides back pay for federal workers. 

One possible implication of this plan for credit unions is that the budget conference committee could provide further momentum to tax reform efforts, since both the House and Senate budget resolutions call for tax reform. As you know, we have been aware of the possibility that the debt ceiling resolution could shape the tax reform debate, and we will continue to be engaged in this process as Congress moves forward.

Don't Tax My CU

International Credit Union Day is the perfect time to showcase the benefits of credit union membership. Credit unions across the Cornerstone region are planning celebrations and special events that include setting up tables or kiosks in their lobbies and asking members to complete the "Don’t Tax" cards to send to their U.S. lawmakers. 

We'd like to extend a special offer to credit unions with assets of less than $50 million. If your credit union would like to engage your membership about the "Don't Tax" campaign, but find that the "Don’t Tax" cards are outside your budget, please don't hesitate to contact your league's Advocacy department. We'll send you a small supply for free. Contact Jim Phelps at jphelps@cornerstoneleague.coop.

For those credit unions with assets above $50 million, Cornerstone's Marketing Resources department is coordinating a group purchase of Action Cards that allows all members of Cornerstone Credit Union League to order small quantities at a price consistent with a larger print run.

The banners are coming, the banners are coming!

Don't Tax My CU BannerOne of the most visual ways to get your members' attention—to engage them about the credit union difference and encourage their participation in the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" effort—is with a banner. The Cornerstone League is offering colorful banners that will soon be available for purchase.

These colorful 3' x 6 ' banners coordinate with the "Don’t Tax" tri-card sheets that credit unions are already using to engage their members in our grassroots advocacy effort. Banners will be made from durable, breathable material for hanging in your lobby or outside on the building, and punched across the top with grommets for easy mounting.

Watch for more information in the coming week about the availability of these new banners.

$10.17 for 10/17

$10.17Even though times are hard for many, credit unions continue to support their PACs, and they do so because they understand that it's vital to support lawmakers who support credit unions and our mission of people helping people. That support includes the continuance of the federal tax exemption, efforts to reduce regulatory burdens, and other important issues of the day.

Big banks are working tirelessly to make sure we fail. Banking lobbyists, fueled by millions of banking industry PAC dollars, make a lot of loud noises in Washington and leave a big political footprint in their wake. We can't let banks be the only influence on Capitol Hill. Money talks, and as Jessie "Big Daddy" Unruh, 54th Speaker of the California State Assembly said famously, "Money is the mother's milk of politics." Our state PACs are an integral part of our grassroots advocacy efforts and the best way to ensure the future of credit unions.

In honor of International Credit Union Day, October 17, our month-long campaign to solicit individual contributions in the amount of $10.17 is well underway. We're making progress, but we need your help to meet our goals. Won't you take a minute to help your PAC? You can help now by making a quick contribution HERE.

"Don't Tax" Spanish Language Webinar

Because credit unions in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have a significant population of Spanish-speaking members, Cornerstone welcomes CUNA's new Spanish resource website to our grassroots arsenal. You can learn more about this valuable resource next Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 2 pm, when CUNA’s Advocacy staff and their alliance partner, Coopera, offer a free webinar to introduce the Spanish tools as a part of the national "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign, or "No Le Cobren Impuestos a Mi Credit Union."

The webinar is designed for credit union leadership and bilingual staff working with Spanish-speaking members. While the webinar is free to affiliated credit unions, registration is still required to attend. Please click on the link below to register.

http://www.cuna.org/Webassets/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?id=62934

National Online Rally Update

By all accounts, last week's national online rally was a huge success. CUNA reported that during and after the rally, they had more than 9,000 unique visitors to the www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org website and, of those, more than 70% were first-time visitors. Advocates delivered nearly 2,200 Tweets and over 2,300 emails to Capitol Hill with the “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” message, and the hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU.

How are YOU celebrating?

Star of Texas CU Celebrates ICU DayIt's International Credit Union Day! We know you have some big things planned to celebrate. Here is just a sample of activity from around the region.

Shell FCU hosts a free gas campaign for ICU Day and makes a fun video, Guess What Day It is!

Gulf Coast CUs Carry On Successful "CU Sense" Awareness Campaign for Second International CU Day

Texoma Community Credit Union combined planning for ICU Day with their annual breast cancer awareness campaign. They sported pink shirts from the local Firefighters Association and turned their website pink!

Texas Trust's Youth Advisory Council prepares a special web page for ICU Day.