Legislators thank CUs, address new legislation Wednesday at CUNA GAC
Porter announces modernization bill
Legislators from both sides of the aisle spoke to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) audience Wednesday morning before an afternoon of credit union visits on Capitol Hill. As if to underscore the importance of those visits, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announced during her remarks that she would introduce a bill with important credit union governance modernizations.
The Board Governance Modernization Act would modify the Federal Credit Union Act requirement that credit union boards meet once a month to not more than six times per year.
Porter, who previously taught consumer protection at UC-Irvine and is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said she is committed to finding ways to allow credit unions to continue to advance communities they serve.
“What I’ve seen again and again is how important it is that families have access to sustainable financial services, and credit unions are so well positioned to fulfill that role,” she said. “I see it every day in my district…we need to make sure in Congress that we are listening to credit unions, listening to our constituents who are members of credit union members and making sure we’re enacting legislation that allows credit unions to thrive and provide needed services.”
Other highlights of Wednesday’s Congressional speakers include:
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), president pro tempore of the Senate, who said “it’s good policy to make it easier for you to extend credit and offer services to working families and have those families benefit from the dividends you return every year, in Iowa it’s some $16 million. Time and money spent complying with burdensome regulations is time spent away from serving your people and it costs money that should be spent on membership. I’ll keep working to reduce government red tape.”
- Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chair, House Financial Services subcommittee on national security, international development and monetary policy, praised the work of his credit union league. ““Among the stated core values of the Heartland Credit Union Association are exceeding expectation embracing change and serving with honesty and integrity. This has been precisely my experience with them over the years. I’d like to thank them for all of their hard work building credit unions into the very fabric of my Congressional District. It was credit unions, including members of the Heartland CUA, that were among the very first that stepped up to the plate offering zero interest and short-term loans as a result of the [government shutdown].”
- Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), ranking member, House Financial Services subcommittee on consumer protection and financial institutions, said the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard is his primary concern. “To me [CECL] could be the most devastating rule that has been promulgated since ‘mark to market.’ We have FASB, which has promulgated this thing without a study, without any kind of cost-benefit analysis, to what they say will bring transparency to the balance sheet, but from the standpoint of credit unions, community banks, GSEs, credit card companies, this is going to be devastating.”
- Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), ranking member, House Financial Services housing, community development and insurance subcommittee, said “credit unions are such an important and trusted source of home loans for members around the country, I want to make sure we’re thoughtful of the value they bring as we move forward with our housing finance system.” He also said he’s committed to a long-term National Flood Insurance Program fix and expanding credit unions’ member business lending abilities.
- Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), member, House Financial Services Committee, said she will always defend the credit union tax status. “Credit unions were created to provide financial services in a democratic, not for profit, and cooperative manner by utilizing the ownership and control of a membership base,” These characteristics are the foundation of their tax-exempt status, and I believe credit unions should maintain that status as they continue to offer the services that make them unique in the banking industry…we must be careful in enacting legislation that affects this important industry.”