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113th Congress sworn in
WASHINGTON (1/4/13)--New and returning members of the U.S. House and Senate were sworn in on Capitol Hill yesterday. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), state credit union leagues, and credit union representatives attended about 35 welcoming events before and after the swearing-in ceremonies.

"Our participation at these events," said CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins Thursday "gives credit union representatives a dynamic way to interact with many policymakers at once. Like CUNA's involvement in the national political conventions, this is an opportunity we want to take on behalf of credit unions."

After one of the briefest recesses in history, when the 112th Congress adjourned Jan. 1 after hammering out a 'fiscal cliff' package of tax measures, the 113th Congress opened for legislative business just two days

Click to view larger image Christine Blake, CEO Cardinal Community CU, Ashtabula, Ohio, with Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) during yesterday's events. (OCUL Photo).

CUNA representatives and members of credit union leagues from Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Kentucky blanketed House and Senate venues hosting open houses and swearing in ceremonies.

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney alone spoke with about 23 senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Banking Committee member Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a new member of the Senate banking panel.  Also, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Boozman (R-Ariz.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Other CUNA- and league-attended events included a welcome for returning House Majority Leader John Boehner, of Ohio, and events for Reps. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) and Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), both of whom were backed by CUNA with independent expenditures during their 2012 election campaigns, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), whom CUNA and the Montana Credit Union League supported via a partisan communication.

Among others visited were new Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who has a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

CUNA and the leagues also hosted an open house at Credit Union House, open throughout the day to all credit union folks in town for the Capitol Hill events.

After today's bustle, organizational resolutions and other official business will likely be the only actions taken by the 113th Congress this week. The House and Senate are expected to be out of session next week. Both chambers are expected to return to work following the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 21.

There are 14 new senators and 84 new House members in the new Congress. Some of the newly elected members of Congress incorporated increasing credit union member business lending (MBL) authority and other key credit union issues into their campaign platforms. Overall, CUNA supported 388 candidates for the House and Senate in November's election, and in 96% of those races the credit union-friendly candidates won.


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