WASHINGTON (10/18/13)--With a budget catastrophe averted, at least for now, credit unions must redouble their tax advocacy efforts as members of the U.S. Congress dust off and get back to work, Credit Union National Association Executive Vice President of Government Affairs John Magill said Thursday.
The budget agreement reached this week requires congressional leaders to name conferees to a budget conference committee that would issue recommendations by Dec. 13. Tax reform will likely be one of the items discussed as budget changes are debated, Magill noted.
"We absolutely cannot let our guard down," Magill emphasized.
The government shutdown and the debate that surrounded it created a short delay, but Magill said Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) are still committed to tax reform, and are looking at an emptying hourglass as elections approach next year.
"They want to move sooner rather than later," Magill said.
In addition, members of Congress are also well aware of the criticism levelled against them in recent days, and they will be eager to show the American public that they can, in fact, do positive work. Immigration reform and the farm bill--with controversial food stamp provisions and federally subsidized crop insurance--are two of the other topics at the top of their list.
Magill said he is glad that CUNA began this latest round of tax status advocacy in May of this year. Credit unions "have not stopped" since that time, and they must keep up the good work to remind members of Congress that a tax on credit unions is a tax on 97 million Americans, he added.
CUNA has provided a host of Take Action tools on www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to help credit union supporters back the tax status. Supporters have spoken up by sending tweets, pictures, vine videos, and e-mails to their members of Congress, all with the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag.