Credit unions remain in a good advocacy position, according to Rich Meade, CUNA’s chief of staff and chief operating officer.
Despite a surprise in the 2016 presidential election results, CUNA is well-prepared to advocate for credit unions with the next administration and the next Congress, he says.
“We’re ready to hit the ground running next year,” Meade told attendees at the CUNA Community Credit Union Conference and The Federation 2016 Annual Meeting in Dallas.
“We have some great opportunities," he says. "We think and hope that we can work with this new administration and new Congress on our priorities. I am hoping that we are going to push regulatory relief first."
That could include challenges to parts of the Dodd-Frank Act and to some Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations.
“It is clear that the voters wanted a change in direction,” Meade says. “The challenging of the status quo and the Washington establishment, we think, can work to our advantage in terms of our efforts to challenge some regulations.”
But there are some challenges facing credit unions too, Meade notes. The newly elected leaders have a strong desire to see tax reform.
And although credit unions don’t have a target on their back when it comes to the industry’s tax status, when you open the tax code up for debate, you have to remain vigilant.
“We’re prepared to deal with that,” Meade says.
CUNA’s advocacy work has laid the groundwork for a success, he says.
“We have a credit union-friendly Congress that we helped elect,” Meade says of CUNA’s work supporting candidates during their campaigns.