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CCUL Headlines: Political

CCUL at GAC: Advocates take message to Hill--and Congress responds

Thursday, February 27, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Washington, DC (2/27/2014)--More than one-hundred credit union advocates from both Carolinas took to Capitol Hill Wednesday, culminating three-plus days in the nation's capital with a full day of clear communication with Congress and one in return from the US House Ways and Means Committee: There is no intent to add any form of taxation on credit unions.

That statement was shared late Wednesday by CUNA CEO Bill Cheney as he opened an awards ceremony for credit unions with exemplary community service, member service, and financial education programs--including one each from North Carolina and South Carolina, plus the Tarheel Chapter of Credit Unions--and the relief and justification in the political development were evident. No sooner than nearly 4,500 GAC participants had arrived, CUNA had word of a tax overhaul plan by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and more questions than details.

NC CU advocates enjoy a moment with US Rep. Howard Coble (R, 6th District-NC).

In contrast, the throng was clear and concise. For two days they listened to experts and political supporters, applauded noteworthy works, and participated in a renewal of "Don't Tax Tuesday," in which they dialed up the Don't Tax My Credit Union message via social media. At a three-state briefing that evening, Carolinas credit unions honed in on their top concerns: taxation, regulatory relief, and consumer data security.

Three Tarheel State teams visited offices across Capitol Hill throughout the day with positive results. In particular, the staff of Congressman Mark Meadows (R, NC-11) reaffirmed his support of credit unions' tax exemption, while longtime supporter and credit union member Congressman Howard Coble (R, NC-6)--already a cosponsor of existing regulatory relief legislation--welcomed word of any other for his immediate attention.

US Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) shares his understanding of credit unions with SC advocates.

The South Carolina contingent gathered in a U.S. Capitol Visitor Center meeting room, joined by members and staff as their schedules permitted. Senator Tim Scott (R, SC), once a volunteer at Heritage Trust FCU (Summerville, SC), was especially direct in his support, as was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who noted that removing credit unions' tax exemption would effectively eliminate their purpose.

Among them all there was broad understanding of data security concerns and general agreement for balance in responsibility. How that develops and whether it is by legislative action will be seen in months ahead.

For now, credit union advocates from the Carolinas return home confident in the results of their unified voice and fully aware of the effectiveness in a clear message.