WASHINGTON (8/2/13)--Touting his 40-year credit union membership, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), like other lawmakers
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recently--took to Twitter to tweet his support for credit unions, vowing to fight to retain their tax status.
August, with its five-week congressional district work period, is just the time for credit union advocates to meet with their lawmakers at home to spark more public messages of support, on tax and other key credit union issues, says Credit Union National Association Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan.
July 26 was the deadline for senators to submit their tax reform proposals to that chamber's Finance Committee leaders. "While that deadline has passed, you can bet legislators will be talking to each other over the summer," Donovan says.
After CUNA and the state credit union leagues ran a successful social media campaign, known as "DontTaxTuesday," more than 875,397 tweeted their support for credit unions and their tax exemption. Some legislators have made portions of their tax reform recommendations public.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), for instance, said this week retaining the credit union tax exemption would "ensure continued access to affordable credit for consumers, homebuyers and small businesses alike, all of which contribute substantially to economic growth."
Others, including ranking House Ways and Means Committee Democrat Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) have also spoken out in support of the credit union tax exemption. Still more legislators took to Twitter on July 23, like Reps. Lowenthal, Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and David Scott (D-Ga.).
Credit Unions will also need to continue advocating for other priorities, such as:
Separate House (H.R. 688) and Senate (S. 968) member business lending bills;
The Capital Access for Small Business and Jobs Act (H.R. 719), which would allow well-capitalized credit unions to match a growing deposit base from a growing membership with capital from sources other than retained earnings; and
Regulatory relief measures, including H.R. 2572, which would provide regulatory relief for credit unions and community banks.
"I don't want anyone for a second to think we have stopped these advocacy efforts. To the contrary, we will keep on advocating, with vigor," CUNA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs John Magill added.