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Lawmakers meet CUs in several states
MADISON, Wis. (9/2/10)--Lawmakers home during the August recess met in-district with credit unions and leagues in several states to hear credit unions' perspective on issues such as lifting credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap and overdraft protection.
Click to view larger image Kathy Chartier, board chair of Credit Union League of Connecticut and CEO of Members CU, discusses the business lending cap with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) at her credit union in Stamford, Conn. (Photo provided by the Credit Union League of Connecticut)
U.S. Rep. Jim Hines (D-Conn.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, met Tuesday with Kathy Chartier, board chair of the Credit Union League of Connecticut and CEO of Members CU, Stamford, Conn., to discuss the current status of MBL and other issues moving through Congress. Also attending was league President/CEO Tony Emerson, league Assistant Vice President Nick Moalli, and representatives from nearby credit unions. "We need to see laws in place that allow smaller institutions like credit unions to compete with the larger ones," said Himes. He reiterated his support for raising the MBL cap for credit unions to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% and talked "about his desire to make sure the interchange provisions in the recently ratified financial reform law are enacted as promised," said Emerson.
Click to view larger image U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), left, talks with Jerry Goldstein of Alliance CU about member business lending during an in-district meeting at the Missouri Credit Union Association's St. Louis office. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
In Missouri, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) gathered information from credit union representatives on Aug. 20 to take back to Capitol Hill, said the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) (The Missouri difference Aug. 26). Twenty attendees from 10 credit unions took part in the meeting at MCUA's St. Louis office. "I voted against the Wall Street Reform bill because it whiffed on Wall Street and punished Main Street," Bond told the group. "We can try to fix [the debit interchange provision] going forward." He asked credit union leaders for facts and statistics about their MBL practices. "Keeping loans within the community is a vital part of operation--no question," he told the group. "To hear that small businesses are willing to go out and try is inspiring." He also addressed an H.R. 3604 provision that limits the amount of time a consumer can use overdraft protection on accounts. Credit unions oppose the bill, and Bond agreed. "Don't force people out of the financial system," he said. "It just sends them to payday lenders and doesn't protect anyone." Missouri credit unions also met with U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) staffer Jim McHugh in St. Louis on Aug. 25 to explain what they are doing to help small businesses and to reinforce the need to lift the MBL cap. Carnahan is "very supportive of helping small business," said McHugh. As for debit interchange, Carnahan is willing to assist with the Federal Reserve's process to help ensure inclusion of fraud costs and that the exemption of financial institutions with $10 billion or less in assets is effective, said McHugh.
U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) shared her deep credit union roots during a meeting with Akron, Ohio, crdit union leaders, according to the Ohio Credit Union League's newsletter, eLumination (Aug. 25). She voiced continued support for credit unions. (Photo provided by the Ohio Credit Union League).
In an Aug. 18 meeting with U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) at TeleCommunity CU, Akron, Ohio, area credit unions and the Ohio Credit Union League thanked Sutton for her strong support of credit unions on issues ranging from MBL to the federal tax exemption during her two terms, said the league (eLumination Aug. 25). Sutton shared her roots in the credit union movement with the group and voiced willingness to support credit union issues in the future. Credit unions had two meetings in North Carolina with congressmen, according to the North Carolina Credit Union League (The Weekly Update Aug.27). U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) visited Charlotte Fire Department CU Aug. 24, and Champion CU's Waynesville branch welcomed U.S. Rep Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) to its branch on Aug. 25. On Aug. 16, more than 30 Michigan credit union leaders from the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) Chapter of Credit Unions met candidates running for the State House, Senate and for Congress. Participants included State Rep. incumbents Judy Nerat and Steve Lindberg; Senate candidates Howard Walker, Mike Lahti and Tom Casperson; House candidates Scott Dianda and Ed McBroom; and congressional candidate Gary McDowell. McDowell communicated his support of credit unions and of federal legislation that would improve their ability to better serve members. Tom Baldini participated on behalf of U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), thanking credit unions for their support.


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