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News Now

Washington
Political issues rally all cooperatives says Mica
WASHINGTON (5/2/08)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica thanked the co-op community for its grassroots support of the Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act (CURRA, H.R. 5519) and urged the co-ops to continue to make their voices heard on political issues of concern.
Click to view larger image CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica speaks Thursday at the National Cooperative Business Association annual meeting. (Photo provided by NCBA)
Addressing the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) annual meeting in Washington, Mica noted NCBA CEO Paul Hazen put out a call to action early this week to the association’s members, which include not only credit unions but co-ops from all sectors, including agriculture, energy, food, and housing. NCBA members responded with energy and enthusiasm. Although no floor vote occurred after CURRA was taken off the House suspension calendar, Mica stressed the lobbying efforts continue. “It’s not over; we will win the battle,” he said, adding that the banks have no cause to celebrate. “The bankers were denied a victory when their regulatory relief bill got pulled first.” The bankers’ bill never made it to the suspension calendar after they had decided to oppose CURRA. Mica also offered strong praise for the cooperative business model. “The private sector cannot succeed if society fails,” he said, quoting former United Nations Secretary General and world leader Kofi Annan. Added Mica: “We’re part of what brings society together. We are driven by different motives.” Asked to give a political prognostication on the 2008 race, the CUNA leader said if the election were held today he believes House Democrats would pick up 25 to 30 seats, Senate Democrats would pick up five to seven seats, and U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would be elected president due to the damage Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are inflicting on one another. But, referring to a point he made in one of the monthly "K Street Insider" columns he writes for The Hill newspaper, Mica emphasized the unpredictability of politics and that today's likely scenario could change "a dozen more times" between now and election day. At the time he wrote that column in The Hill back in November, Mica recalled, the wisdom of the day was that Clinton was a sure thing and former New York Governor Rudy Guiliani would get the Republican nomination. He closed by calling on the co-op representatives to stay politically active and involved. Referring to credit unions’ 90 million members he said, “It’s not millions; it’s people being involved, one at a time, making a difference.”
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