WASHINGTON (1/22/16)--As credit union leaders prepare to come to Washington, D.C. for the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said their stories are essential to achieving credit union goals in an election year.
Speaking on CUbroadcast Thursday, Donovan laid out a few things credit unions can do leading up to CUNA GAC, which is Feb. 21-25.
“Project ZIP Code, which counts the number of credit unions in each political jurisdiction, enables us to go into a congressional office and say, ‘We have 250,000 credit unions members in your district,’” Donovan said. “But it’s only as effective as the number of credit unions that run the program, so I would encourage them to get involved.
“Also, talk with your staff and colleagues, talk about how regulatory burdens are keeping you from serving your members, and bring some examples of when the rules have kept you from being able to extend a loan or offer a service,” Donovan added. “We’re really trying to make regulatory burden something that Congress and policymakers truly understand.”
Though 2016 is an election year, and thus has an abbreviated legislative calendar, Donovan said that CUNA will remain very active on the advocacy front.
“We’re also working to see movement in a data security bill, and we’ll see that movement if folks come to Washington, D.C., with their data breach stories about this many members were affected, it cost us this much money and all of this is happened because merchants don’t have standards we do,” Donovan said. “It’s a very simple message to deliver, and the folks coming to GAC are the ones to deliver it.”
CUNA’s advocacy goals for 2016 include: reducing the regulatory burden; expanding consumer access to credit unions; engaging in the development of public policy on payments and data security; and preserving the credit union tax status.
Specifically, Donovan said CUNA is working to get the unfinished pieces of Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) regulatory relief bill signed into law, as well as working with Congress to support the National Credit Union Administration’s member business lending and field-of-membership proposals.