As more than 5,000 credit union leaders at this year’s record-breaking CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) prepare for several days of meetings with policymakers, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan outlined CUNA’s 2018 advocacy priorities and how they can be addressed during these meetings.
CUNA’s 2018 goals are:
• Reduce regulatory burden.
• Expand and protect credit union powers.
• Enhance payment security.
• Preserve the credit union tax status.
“Any discussion of the tax status on Capitol Hill starts with a big thank you. Thank your member of Congress for realizing that credit unions earn their tax status every day,” he says. “Thank them for recognizing that the tax status is based on structure and mission and that mission is being fulfilled.”
Donovan also discussed S. 2155, the Senate’s bipartisan regulatory relief bill that CUNA strongly supports. He outlined exactly how the bill would benefit credit unions, and how the bill wouldn’t compromise consumer protection or offer assistance to Wall Street banks.
He also discussed CUNA’s support for data breach legislation, a discussion draft of which has been released.
“Merchants should be held to the same data security standards as the credit unions and banks that issue the payment cards,” he says. “That’s not the case today. Right now, they’re leaving the back door open, folks are coming in and robbing consumers, and you all are dealing with the impact. That’s got to change.”
While Donovan talked CUNA’s advocacy goals for 2018, CUNA Chief Political Officer Richard Gose explained ways credit unions can help achieve those goals.
He highlighted CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP), which allows credit unions to educate their members on important issues and activate them to contact policymakers. Currently more than 550 credit unions with more than 30 million members are part of MAP, and Gose told the audience that the more credit unions that take part in the program, the greater the impact will be.
"When we work hand in hand, CUNA, the leagues and credit unions, there’s nothing we can’t do,” Gose says. “We have programs in place, and we have opportunities to make a difference.”
►Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNANews, @cumagazine, @CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page.