Home-state visits connect lawmakers, CU members

August 28, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (8/29/14)--Credit unions reported several productive home-state visits with lawmakers this week.

Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) greets members of the Carolinas Credit Union League's Western Chapter on Tuesday. (Carolinas Credit Union League Photo)

Meeting with lawmakers while they are in their districts is a critical part of the Credit Union National Association's advocacy strategy, Ryan Donovan, CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs, told News Now.

"It reinforces the local presence credit unions have in virtually every community in the country, and frankly, some of our more productive meetings with representatives and senators take place back home because members have more time to meet with their constituents and understand their concerns," Donovan said.

On Tuesday, the Carolinas Credit Union League's Western Chapter hosted an event featuring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in Asheville, N.C., attended by more than 80 credit union representatives (In the Loop Aug. 29)

Click to view larger imagePatti Seymore, vice president at SC Telco FCU, Greenville, S.C., and U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) (Carolinas Credit Union League Photo)

"Your members trust you--and having someone you can trust when making important financial decisions is important," Meadows told attendees.

Currently serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Meadows reiterated his support for the credit union tax exemption and shared his concerns about the overregulation credit unions are facing as a result of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act.

"Many of our credit unions that have been to Washington, D.C., or met individually with Congressman Meadows over the past year have come to appreciate his strong support for credit unions," said Dan Schline, league senior vice president of association services. "Tonight was important because a wider group of western North Carolina credit unions got to hear firsthand about that support."

Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) speaks with credit union advocates from the Carolinas Credit Union League's Columbia Chapter. (Carolinas Credit Union League Photo)

In addition to signing a joint letter from members of the House of Representatives to National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz in June, Meadows authored his own letter this month expressing concerns about the agency's risk-based capital proposal.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's (R-S.C.) fourth annual Faith and Freedom BBQ drew more than 1,100 attendees Monday. Special guests included Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Credit union advocates from the 3rd District attended a private reception prior to the event and were able to meet with elected officials to discuss credit union issues.

Missouri credit union leaders met with U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) this week. From left: Jay Neathery, executive vice president, United Consumers CU, Independence, Mo.; Rick Schier, vice president of sales and service, CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan.; Ron Miller, president, Edison CU, Kansas City; Graves; Dennis Pierce, president/CEO, and Pat Yokley,  chief operating officer, CommunityAmerica CU; Don Cohenour, president/CEO, Missouri Credit Union Association; and Chris McCreary, president, United Consumers CU. (Missouri Credit Union Association Photo)

The Carolinas Credit Union League, along with the Columbia Chapter of Credit Unions, hosted longtime credit union supporter Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Tuesday in Columbia, S.C., for a BBQ "Meet and Greet." Credit union members throughout the midlands had the opportunity to speak with Wilson and his staff, in addition to celebrating credit unions' national 100 million memberships milestone.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) reaffirmed his support for maintaining the credit union tax status when he met with Missouri credit union leaders this week, the Missouri Credit Union Association reported.  The meeting took place Monday at CommunityAmerica CU's North Oak Trafficway branch in Kansas City, Mo.  During the meeting, credit union leaders stressed the importance of the credit union tax status when discussing the possibility of tax reform in the next Congress.

Graves, who had served as chairman of the House Small Business Committee, asked about the impact of data breaches on credit unions.

In addition to the league and Lenexa, Kan.-based $1.9 billion-asset CommunityAmerica CU, participants in the meeting included Edison CU, Kansas City, Mo., with $29 million in assets; and United Consumers CU, Independence, Mo., with $123 million in assets.