Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., addresses the 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference via video. (CUNA photo)

Speaker Pelosi highlights Congressional messages Wednesday at GAC

March 3, 2021

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) thanked CUNA, the California Credit Union League, and credit unions for the work they do in her video address to the 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Wednesday. Pelosi’s remarks kicked off Wednesday’s sessions, and were followed by numerous other messages from legislators throughout the day.

“As our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, [credit unions] have been on the frontline, working tirelessly to meet the needs of your communities and safeguard countless families and small businesses from the growing toll of the dual crises,” she says.

Pelosi says Congress worked “relentlessly” to ensure small set-asides to prioritize community-based lenders such as credit unions were included in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.

“In December, we extended provisions critical to helping credit unions meet your liquidity needs so you can continue to assist underserved businesses, retail customers, and our most vulnerable communities hit hardest by the pandemic,” she says.

Pelosi was one of several Congressional speakers who addressed CUNA GAC Wednesday, which followed addresses from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others Tuesday.

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chair of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, says that strong credit unions are needed more now than ever. He says his committee will “play a major role” in creating a recovered economy that highlights previously underserved populations, with help from local financial institutions like credit unions.
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, who says there is “no question” about credit unions’ role in the financial services ecosystem. He credited credit unions with responding quickly to get resources where they were needed the most at a moment of great emergency.
  • Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) says the cooperative aspect of credit unions meant they were there “to help families and Main Street businesses every day.” She also says she supports credit union governance modernization and hopes to get legislation passed this Congress.
  • Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Minority Whip, says credit unions’ role serving their community have never been more important for small businesses and families. He also thanked credit unions for playing a vital role in getting PPP loans and other products and services to communities in need.
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a former credit union employee, says he knows firsthand the importance of what credit unions do every day, adding that his favorite part of working for a credit union was getting out in the community. He calls credit unions a “linchpin” of their communities, made even more necessary by the pandemic and resulting economic fallout.
  • Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) says the scope of relief provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and subsequent relief legislation would not have been possible without credit unions, as Congress “deputized” community-based lenders to get capital into Main Street communities and businesses where it was needed the most. He pledges to continue providing credit unions the assistance they need.
  • Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), says credit union activities are more vital than ever before and highlights credit union lending, especially through the PPP, as the difference that saved thousands of businesses. Emmer says he will introduce a credit union governance modernization bill shortly, giving credit unions “the ability to adapt.”
  • Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) says he remains committed to ensuring credit unions can continue issuing PPP loans and that he will continue working to ensure the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard will not apply to credit unions. He pledges to introduce legislation this Congress, as he has done in previous ones. He also says he supports “clear and concise” regulations for financial institutions.
  • Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) says credit unions have stepped up to support members devastated by the pandemic through fee waivers, payment extensions, and other services. She says she supports tailored consumer protection regulations and the credit union tax status. She says she will introduce a bipartisan bill to update credit union board meeting requirements.
  • Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) describes himself as a “loud advocate” for credit unions and thanks both CUNA and California credit union advocacy staff for getting the message to policymakers. Sherman, who introduced a member business lending relief bill earlier this week, also says he continues to call on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to tailor regulations to account for credit unions’ unique nature.

Video addresses from members of Congress are available to GAC registrants under the “Agenda” tab for Tuesday or Wednesday.

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