WASHINGTON (3/20/12)--House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) praised credit unions for the "remarkable'' role they have played in helping make the middle class's "lives and dreams possible.''
Hoyer noted that his mother had been an employee of a credit union and that he had been taught about the importance of credit unions at a young age. Those lessons, combined with the good work of credit unions, have been the key reasons he has always been a supporter of the credit union movement, Hoyer explained.
Rep. Steny Hoyer. Click for slideshow from day one at the 2012 GAC.
He made his comments during a speech at Monday afternoon's session of the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference.
"People live in a more stable and prosperous country because of the work you do,'' he said. "The services you provide make a real difference in the lives of the 90 million people who are your members.''
Hoyer, the second-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, said legislation--currently being considered by the U.S. Congress and aimed at encouraging more business expansion and greater access to capital--would help the economic recovery, which is just now taking off. Some of the proposals are intended to create more manufacturing jobs and if this happens it will create a more prosperous workforce since those jobs tend to be higher paying, he noted.
In addition, he said there needs to be changes in the tax code and regulations to create a more favorable business environment.
Hoyer praised the efforts of Congress to strengthen the policing of financial service providers whose actions caused the financial crisis. He said that the Dodd-Frank Act, which Congress passed in 2010, was aimed primarily at ensuring that the big banks never again took undue risks that required government bailouts.
He noted that "credit unions have never needed a bailout.''
He also said that it is incumbent upon Congress to make progress to contain the growth of the debt and deficit. He said there must be reductions in both mandatory and discretionary spending because bequeathing this level of debt to the next generation is "immoral.''