WASHINGTON (12/19/14)--The Credit Union National Association and state credit union leagues spent 2014 advancing a legislative agenda designed to preserve credit unions' tax status and removing regulatory barriers preventing them from serving their members.
On Thursday CUNA released a
highlighting its legislative victories in 2014 and over the course of the 113th Congress.
"The credit union system was able to advance its priorities over the last two years, despite a challenging legislative environment," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "This was no small feat: The 113th Congress will go down in history as the least efficient, having enacted less than 2% of the bills introduced. As a result of our collective efforts, Congress preserved the credit union tax status and took modest steps toward removing barriers that keep credit unions from more fully serving their members."
One of the major highlights from the 113th Congress was the preservation of the credit union tax status. Members from the Senate and House spent this year engaged in comprehensive tax reform talks, which began with the premise that everything was on the table.
Last year featured the launch of the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign, and when the first draft of comprehensive tax reform was released in February by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), House Ways and Means Committee chair, credit unions' tax status was untouched.
"While tax reform did not cross the finish line this year, the favorable treatment the credit union tax status received in this initial draft represents a very significant victory, and should position us well when Congress resumes the tax reform debate next year," reads CUNA's report, which adds that both Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), incoming House Ways and Means chair, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), incoming Senate Finance Committee chair, are both expected to pursue tax reform next year.
Other highlights from CUNA's legislative advocacy efforts in 2014 include:
- Passage of the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act, which extends share insurance coverage to lawyer trust accounts and other similar trust accounts. When passed by the House Financial Services Committee, it was the first stand-alone piece of credit union regulatory relief legislation to pass the committee since 1998;
- House passage of the Regulation D Study Act, which would direct the Government Accountability Office to study how the Federal Reserve uses Regulation D, the cap on automatic transfers between checking and savings accounts, to influence monetary policy;
- Getting more than 370 members of Congress to share their concerns with the National Credit Union Administration about the agency's risk-based capital proposal;
- Testifying three times on housing reform proposals and contributing several dozen pages of legislative language to the Senate Banking Committee; and
- Calling for hearings on the Target data breach, launching the "Stop the Data Breaches" campaign and hosting coalition meetings with banking industry associations to develop a strategy for data breach legislation for the new Congress.
"More certainly needs to be done to remove the barriers that keep credit unions from more fully serving their members, which is why we plan to take an ambitious 'removing barriers' agenda to Congress when it convenes in a few weeks," Nussle said. "We also plan to renew vigorous advocacy on behalf of the credit union tax status as Congress turns its attention back to comprehensive tax reform."