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GAC Apex: Credit Union Boots Traverse Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (3/1/13)--Thousands of credit union advocates streamed into the halls of the U.S. Congress this week urging their elected representatives to maintain the credit union tax status, reduce the regulatory burden, and take action to enhance the credit union charter--among other things--as an integral part of the Credit Union National Association's  2013 Governmental Affairs Conference.

Click for slide show Credit unions concluded this year's GAC with Capitol Hill visits on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing a unified message of the good the credit union difference does for their communities. This slideshow brings you illustrations of just some of those meetings. (CUNA photo)

The GAC brought some of the nation's top lawmakers and financial institution policymakers to present their views to the gathered credit union participants, more than 4,200 in total. In addition, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney unveiled a comprehensive and first-ever "vision" for the credit union movement as a whole--a vision in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."

The effort to rally in support of the vision for the movement--captured by the phrase "Unite for Good"--is rooted in credit unions' shared values: Collaboration, a focus on members, community involvement, and a dedication to financial well-being. "People want to do business with people who have their best interests at heart," Cheney said.

Cheney emphasized that a unified voice will be needed to achieve this vision, and while every credit union group had a unique story to tell their respective congressional representatives, collectively credit unions spoke in a unified voice on several common themes: Credit unions' tax status, the need for supplemental capital and greater member business lending authority, and support for recently introduced privacy notice legislation.

Prior to the GAC, CUNA created a new members-only tax toolkit, which is designed to help credit unions connect with their members and educate the public and policymakers about the importance of the credit union tax status. (For more on toolkit, use the resource link)

Under the GAC umbrella this week, credit unions met with their lawmakers in venues ranging from large receptions scheduled around breakfast, lunch, or dinner, "behind the curtain" before and after GAC speeches; in small huddles in congressional offices; and in the packed offices of senators and house members.

The visits were superbly timed to give credit unions a chance to meet with both long-time and newly elected members of the 113th Congress

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