WASHINGTON (10/28/13)--A bipartisan group of 11 freshman U.S. House members from California joined the lengthening list of credit union tax status supporters in Congress late last week.
In a joint letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.), the legislators encouraged committee leadership to maintain the credit union tax status as they discuss potential tax reforms this year.
Camp and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) remain committed to tax reform, and tax code changes will likely be one of the items discussed as budget tweaks are debated. The budget agreement that reopened the government requires congressional leaders to name conferees to a budget conference committee that would issue recommendations by Dec. 13.
"Ensuring the credit union tax exemption guarantees the choice in financial services for our consumers, our constituents, and our communities," the legislators wrote. "Credit unions are inherently different from other financial institutions because of their mission and their focus on members," and have played a vital role in the California economy, "where the economic conditions of the last five years have been challenging," they added.
The letter was cosigned by longtime credit union supporters Reps. Jared Huffman (D) and Col. Paul Cook (R), Ami Bera (D), Julia Brownley (D), Tony Cardenas (D), Doug LaMalfa (R), Alan Lowenthal (D), Scott Peters (D), Eric Swalwell (D), and Mark Takano (D). These legislators are also supporters of legislation that would increase the credit union member business lending cap.
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) also signed on to the letter. This is the first time he has publicly supported credit unions since becoming a member of the House.
"This is another example of how the California Congressional delegation continues to show their strong support for credit unions," said Jeremy Empol, vice president of federal government affairs for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
In recent days, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney, General Counsel Eric Richard, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, Chief Economist Bill Hampel and Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan have met with White House and Treasury officials to advocate for the continuation of the credit union tax exemption.
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.