Removing Barriers Blog

Pence, Kaine Have Solid Record of Credit Union Support
Posted July 25, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia, following on the heels of last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Both the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and Republican nominee Donald Trump, have chosen running mates with solid records of supporting credit unions. 

kaine_official_high_res_photoSenator Tim Kaine, soon to be the Vice Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, has a long history of supporting credit unions in Virginia and around the country. After a long career in state and local government in Virginia, including a term as governor, in 2012 he ran successfully for the United States Senate. In an endorsement of his Senate candidacy, Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow explained that "Gov. Kaine is a proven leader and credit unions respect his balanced approach in crafting policy." At the time, then-Governor Kaine cited his "great respect for credit unions and their ‘people helping people’ philosophy," and argued that "Washington needs to ensure the nation’s ‘Main Street’ financial institutions can remain strong, innovative and vibrant for the good of working Americans and our communities."

This approach has continued to date. After accepting Secretary Clinton's invitation to serve as her running mate, Senator Kaine met with immediate push-back from liberal activists for recently signing a CUNA-led letter to CFPB Director Cordray arguing that the Bureau should use its statutory exemption authority to carefully tailor regulations to avoid unintended consequences for credit unions and other community-based financial institutions. Senator Kaine responded with conviction, however, arguing that "[i]t wasn’t credit unions that tanked the economy," and "[i]f you spend a lot of time over regulating credit unions and community banks, you are basically letting a lot of the big guys off easily." Separately, a spokesperson noted that Senator Kaine "believes it’s important that the rules are tailored to the character of individual institutions so that we don’t accidentally choke off capital access to the families and small businesses in our communities."

Governor_Pence_Official_Headshot_high_ResGovernor Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s choice for his presidential running mate, has been a long time credit union supporter.  He served in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, and in 2012, he was elected to the governorship of Indiana.  Pence cosponsored and voted for the Financial Regulatory Relief Act of 2006, a law that included four credit union specific provisions.  He also supported financial institutions by voting in favor of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.  In addition, he voted against the burdensome Dodd Frank Act.  Pence has met with credit union groups many times, both in Indiana and in Washington.  He has spoken at several events sponsored by the Indiana Credit Union League, including its annual convention in 2013 and its Legislative Affairs Forum numerous times.

Earlier this year, he appointed Hoosier Hills Federal Credit Union President and CEO George McNichols to the Indiana Board for Depositories.  This marks the first time a credit union official has served on the board, which administers the Public Deposit Insurance Fund, and protects the public funds of the state and its political subdivisions deposited in approved financial institutions.  In 2014, Pence signed legislation that allowed credit unions to offer prize-linked savings accounts.  This resulted in the Save to Win product becoming available to Hoosiers.  Credit union members in Indiana have already saved more than $1.6 million through Save to Win, which launched in April.

As this election cycle progresses, CUNA will continue to engage and educate candidates for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the president.