The 118th Congress is even more divided than the previous one, with each party controlling a chamber of Congress.
But credit union members aren’t particularly concerned with who holds the gavel of each chamber. If most economic forecasts are to be believed, they’ll need any help they can get as a recession looms.
The good news is that we have a demonstrated legacy of working with both sides of the aisle, and that’s what it will take to get things done. We have a unique trust built up with both parties because they both know we’re in it for our members and communities.
The CUNA-League system is recognized for this—we’re the voice for the financial services industry in Washington, D.C. Our reputation outpaces financial industry peers on both sides of the aisle.
Most notable of all, we’re still improving. We made strong gains last year in every reputation measure, including credibility, access, influence, and engagement.
We’ve used the term “360-degree advocacy” since I’ve been at CUNA because it paints a picture of how we approach issues: from all sides, from every angle, at every level.
This year, we’ll put that approach into action like never before to:
A lack of movement on any major legislation in D.C. means federal regulators might look to get more aggressive in implementing policy goals. Unfortunately for credit unions, this too often results in one-size-fits-all-style regulations that lump not-for-profit credit unions in with the biggest banks.
We need to be ready to support—or fight back against—policies at the federal, state, and local level. We need to work though legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, and the courts to achieve our goals.
Our credit union tax status remains one of the best investments the government makes, but that doesn’t stop banks or other groups from using misguided or misleading stats to paint a different picture.
Interchange has become another hot topic. We were successful in keeping major changes moving forward in 2022, but further attempts are likely going forward.
There’s a lot at stake in 2023, but that’s because we’ve taken it upon ourselves as a movement to make a real difference. We can’t do it alone, but by working cooperatively we can continue our momentum.
I’m up for the challenge, and so are the CUNA, league, and credit union leaders I’ve spoken with.
Our members are counting on us.
JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO at Credit Union National Association.