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Pa. district visits raise awareness of CU issues
HARRISBURG, Pa. (1/11/10)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association staff and committee members have completed 12 of 21 Congressional District and Senate office meetings to update elected officials on the credit union position of key issues.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.)--second from right--meets Pennsylvania credit union leaders, from left: Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Governmental Affairs Committee member Lee MacMinn, Governmental Affairs Committee and State Credit Union Advisory member Jim McCaw, and State Credit Union Advisory Committee member John King. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)
On Jan. 4, Bucks County area credit union leaders met with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-8) in his Bristol, Pa., office. The hour-long meeting focused on credit union issues, including overdraft protection, member business lending (MBL), bankruptcy “cramdowns,” and interchange (Life is a Highway Jan. 7). Association Governmental Affairs Committee member Lee MacMinn, State Credit Union Advisory Committee member John King, and Governmental Affairs Committee and State Credit Union Advisory member Jim McCaw provided Murphy with a detailed scope of how interchange regulation will hurt consumers and credit unions’ ability to house card programs in the long run. MBL also was a priority for discussion due to Murphy’s past co-sponsorship of an MBL measure. On Wednesday, credit union representatives met with U.S. Rep. Tim Holden (D-17) in his Harrisburg district office. Issues of conversation included MBL, interchange and overdraft protection. Holden has been a friend of credit unions in the past on legislation, including co-sponsoring past credit union MBL bills. Holden indicated many small businesses in his district are having difficulty accessing credit or other financial services for their business needs from their primary financial institution, the association said. Attendees said credit unions are a viable lending resource and continue to lend, but they need regulatory relief to ensure they can still assist small businesses. Attending were: Jim McCormack, PCUA president/CEO; Diana Roberts, association director; Ed Williams, Credit Union National Association director; Lonny Mauer and Greg Smith, members of the State Credit Union Advisory Committee; Nate Muniz, public relations manager, Pennsylvania State Employees CU, Harrisburg; and Christina Mihalik, PCUA vice president of governmental affairs. Also, U.S. Rep. Chris Carney (D-10) conducted a meeting Thursday with association Director Bill Lavage; Regulatory Review Committee member Eric Chase; Tom Rachael, CEO, PALCO FCU, Muncy; John Sharp, CEO, Horizon FCU, Williamsport; Governmental Affairs Committee member Paul Nyman; and Jim McCormack. The group discussed Carney’s co-sponsorship of interchange bills--House Resolutions 2382 and 2695, and raised objections to the legislation for the congressman to consider. Also, the group shared concerns about an overdraft protection bill, H.R. 3904, which would institute additional measures affecting the ability for credit unions to provide this service. Carney expressed his support for an increase in credit union MBL.


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