CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle discussed grassroots advocacy, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the appropriations process Wednesday in an interview with National Journal. Nussle served as a member of Congress from Iowa from 1991 to 2007, and as director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2007 to 2009.
After noting the success of getting the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) signed into law, Nussle was asked what CUNA’s next step in in terms of regulatory policy.
“One example that we would like to promote is having a body of three to five people to govern the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] instead of a single director,” Nussle said. “A broad-type approach, we believe, provides much more stability than the political winds of one administration to the next, as well as the possibility that the agency, as it did for the last number of months, would not have anything more than an acting director.”
Nussle was also asked about his fourth year leading CUNA, and what has changed in the credit union landscape during his tenure.
“I would observe two things. One is that our strategic advantage of using grassroots, utilizing not only the folks who work in credit unions but our 100 million members across the country to participate in advocacy, has worked well for us in a very partisan setting where we are a very bipartisan organization,” Nussle said. “Second, watching over the last four years, other organizations, they are trying to create what we have always had, and that is a more grassroots-oriented approach to advocacy and government affairs.
“There was a long period of time when the popular belief was "We need to hire a lobbying firm and let them do it for us," and credit unions didn’t adopt that. We stuck with our grassroots strategy. That’s worked well and now many other organizations are following that,” Nussle added.
The interview also touched on subjects such as the possibility of a government shutdown in September, what might happen should Democrats take the House in November and more.
National Journal is a research and advisory services company based in Washington, D.C. that performs services in government affairs, advocacy communications and policy brands research for government and business leaders.