MADISON, Wis. (10/11/13)--
|Missouri credit unions met with U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) during their Hill hikes. From left are: Dave Osborn, Anheuser-Busch Employees CU, St. Louis; Johnny O'Hare, Mid Missouri CU, Fort Leonard Wood; Don Cohenour, Missouri Credit Union Association president; Charlie Hicks, Poplar Bluff (Mo.) FCU; Rep. Smith; Sharron Payne and Kirk Mondy of Poplar Bluff FCU; Charlie Waalkes, Anheuser-Busch Employees CU; and Amy McLard, MCUA. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)|
On the home front, several leagues this week were busy debriefing their membership on how the latest round of Hike the Hill visits went.
Ten leagues visited the Capitol last week during the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign's online rally to deliver that message to Congress. Two of the leagues--Missouri and Michigan-- provided updates for members on their progress.
The Missouri Credit Union Association worked with the Kansas Credit Union Association to collaborate on their hikes on Oct. 2-3, said MCUA. Missouri's credit union advocates, in their visits with lawmakers, discussed preserving the credit union tax status as well as lifting the cap on credit unions' member business lending, regulatory reform, and housing finance reform and encouraged legislators to co-sponsor legislation (Missouri Difference Oct. 8).
|U. S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), second from left, talks about credit union issuers with Hike the Hill participants from Michigan. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)|
"We focused attention on our key issues and could immediately counter information provided to lawmakers by bankers from Missouri who were also in town for legislative visits," said Amy McLard, senior vice president of advocacy for MCUA. "The timing of the Hike the Hill was extremely effective."
The delegation met with these lawmakers and staff: U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R); U.S. Reps. Lacy Clay (D); Emanuel Cleaver (D), Sam Graves (R), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R), Jason Smith (R); and legislative staff Alexis Alber with Rep. Vicky Hartzler's (R) office; Brian O'Shea, with Rep. Ann Wagner's (R) office; and Curtis Trendt of Rep. Billy Long's (R) office.
More than two dozen credit union leaders from Michigan visited their state's congressional delegation. The visitors included a few who had either never attended one of the Michigan Credit Union League's advocacy trips or had not attended in several years (Michigan Monitor Oct. 7).
"All the congressional staff and lawmakers we talked to understood our issues and were engaged in the conversation," said Michigan Credit Union League CEO David Adams. " It's obvious they have heard the credit union message loud and clear." He noted the government shutdown didn't have much impact on the visit.