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Fast-paced action rules in intense atmosphere
Click to view larger image Before a well-attended House press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday, CUNA Communications Vice President Pat Keefe reminds reporters that credit unions will also benefit from the financial rescue legislation's provisions raising credit union federal share insurance coverage to $250,000. (Photo provided by CUNA
WASHINGTON (10/3/08)--The atmosphere remained intense in Washington--and the action fast-paced--as the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) worked Thursday to ensure credit unions were well-represented in the financial rescue legislation, and the words and actions being used to describe the bill, given its impact on the economy and overall public confidence. Among the developments and actions:
*Following encouragement through repeated contacts by CUNA with the Treasury and the White House, President George W. Bush specifically mentioned credit unions being included in deposit insurance coverage in the bill passed by the Senate, and under consideration today by the House. “This was huge in terms of raising the visibility of the parity issue,” said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. CUNA urged House leadership to do the same in their public remarks about the bill. *CUNA continued to reach out to national press with phone calls and email contacts reminding them of the increased coverage leverage for credit unions as they prepare cover the House vote. CUNA communications staff also visited Capitol Hill press galleries handing out press releases reminding them to include "credit unions" in their reporting on the financial rescue legislation's provisions on expansion of federal deposit insurance coverage. *Nearly 200 radio stations so far have aired a radio news release CUNA released Wednesday--featuring comments by CEO Mica--about credit union federal deposit insurance coverage. Markets where the segment aired included Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. *Ahead of the House vote today, CUNA blast-distributed a second press release to more than 500 news organizations and news outlets across the nation, pointing out that the Senate-passed legislation now before the House will increase federal insurance at credit unions, as it will at banks. A version was shared with league communicators so they can issue similar reminders to their state and local media. *CUNA is coordinating with NCUA on efforts to support language that would preclude adjustment of the 1% NCUSIF deposit and/or the assessment of a premium to pay for the additional insurance coverage levels in order to minimize the cost to credit unions of any additional insurance coverage. *Letters were sent by CUNA to each House member urging support of the financial rescue bill. Many leagues and individual credit unions are doing the same. CUNA lobbyists continue to note that credit unions did not cause the problems we face but they and their members are certainly being affected by current economic conditions, and so the cost of inaction may well outweigh the cost of action. *With the Senate vote on the financial rescue bill completed, CEO Mica contacted Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to press for final passage of the Credit Union, Bank and Thrift Regulatory Relief Act (CUBTRRA) prior to Senate’s adjournment. CUBTRRA--which grants credit unions new authorities to serve lower-income individuals--has already passed the House with the support of banks and credit unions and is considered noncontroversial.


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