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Barbour McAuliffe A political point-counterpoint at CUNAs 2013 GAC

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WASHINGTON (11/13/12)--National political stars Haley Barbour and Terry McAuliffe will face off in an entertaining and thought-provoking point-counterpoint political discussion at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

Barbour has served as governor of Mississippi and chairman of both the Republican Governors Association and Republican National Committee. Barbour, who was once called "the most powerful Republican in politics," has been hailed as one of the country's top political strategists. He is also respected for his work on Mississippi job creation, health care, education and energy, and his handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Bill Clinton's re-election committee, most recently led Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. McAuliffe has been called the most successful political fundraiser of all time, having, under his tenure as chairman of the DNC, raised more than $535 million for an ailing Democratic Party, breaking all previous records for funds raised by either party. He now works as the founder and chairman of GreenTech Automotive, an electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturing company.

Barbour and McAuliffe, having first encountered one another in the 1990s while respectively attacking and defending Clinton, became friends as well as competitors and are accustomed to sharing a stage.

NBC News anchor and best-selling author Tom Brokaw and award-winning personal finance journalist and author Jean Chatzky are also scheduled to speak on that same stage, and more speakers and session topics will be added to the 2013 GAC lineup in the weeks to come.

ABBA tribute band ABBA The Concert will kick off the 2013 GAC on Feb. 24.

The 2013 GAC will run until Feb. 28 at the Washington Convention Center. The 2013 GAC theme, Powerful Cause, Positive Effect, reflects the credit union commitment to the 95 million working Americans who rely on credit unions every day.

CUNA's GAC is the credit union movement's premier political event and its largest national conference, each year providing more than 4,000 credit union executives and board members an opportunity to hear influential leaders from Congress, presidential administrations and federal regulatory agencies.

GAC attendees will also have the chance to meet directly with their members of Congress in Washington.

Recognized as the key conference to attend for political impact, credit union networking and industry updates, the GAC also offers a wide array of educational breakout sessions, the industry's largest exhibitor showcase, guest/family programs to tour Washington's sights, and special entertainment including an opening concert and the closing Gala Reception and Dance.

For more information, follow the @CUNAverse twitter hashtag #CUNAGAC.

Registration is now open for CUNA's GAC, which features presentations by top federal lawmakers and regulators, as well as break-out sessions on key credit union issues.

Use the resource link to register.

Orientation elder abuse hearing on tap as Congress returns

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WASHINGTON (11/13/12)--The U.S. Congress will return to regular business this week in a post-election, lame duck session, with plenty on the plate as the year draws to a close.

Even with five House races not yet called as of last night, orientation for incoming House and Senate members will be held starting this week. Elections for new committee and subcommittee leadership will also take place. This week Republicans will determine who will take on their leadership roles for 2013-onward.  Democrats are scheduled to hold their own committee and subcommittee leadership elections the week of Nov. 26.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will discuss member business lending and other credit union priorities with new and veteran members of Congress as they return.

Legislatively, Congress has a few large issues to resolve, including a solution to address the so-called "fiscal cliff." If legislators fail to compromise on various spending and tax issues by year end, $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction moves will be initiated on Jan. 2.

There are also appropriations bills, various tax extenders, and the Farm Bill that need to be addressed.

A Senate cycbersecurity bill (S. 3414) is one item that could be considered this week. That bill, which was last discussed in the summer, would establish voluntary information protection standards for government agencies, utilities, and other public and private entities. The bill would also establish a National Cybersecurity Council, drawing members from various federal agencies. CUNA has noted that some voluntary security standards could eventually become mandatory, thus imposing a new burden on financial institutions. CUNA has repeatedly said that the data security standards followed by credit unions and other financial institutions are strong, and it remains committed to ensuring that any data security measure passed by Congress does not negatively impact credit unions.

Hearings will also be held as the House and Senate return to a somewhat regular schedule.

The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing titled "Oversight of Basel III: Impact of Proposed Capital Rules." Slated to testify are Michael Gibson, director of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; John Lyons, chief national bank examiner in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and George French, deputy director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Policy, Division of Risk Management Supervision.

The Senate Select Committee on Aging will hold a Thursday hearing on preventing elder financial abuse. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office of Older Americans Assistant Director Hubert "Skip" Humphrey III is scheduled to testify. Kay Brown, director of education, work force and income security at the Government Accountability Office, Paul Smocer of the Financial Services Roundtable and San Diego, Calif., Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood are also expected to speak.

Congress will break at the end of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will return the following week. This lame duck session of Congress is expected to end on Dec. 14, but may also be extended.